Rivastigmine transdermal patches are used to treat dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and may cause changes in mood and personality) in people with Alzheimer's disease (a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and the ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities). Transdermal rivastigmine is also used to treat dementia in people with Parkinson's disease (a brain system disease with symptoms of slowing of movement, muscle weakness, shuffling walk, and loss of memory). Rivastigmine is in a class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. It improves mental function (such as memory and thinking) by increasing the amount of a certain natural substance in the brain.
Transdermal rivastigmine comes as a patch you apply to the skin. It is usually applied once a day. Apply the rivastigmine patch at around the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the rivastigmine skin patch exactly as directed. Do not apply it more or less often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of rivastigmine and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every 4 weeks.
Transdermal rivastigmine may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities, but it does not cure Alzheimer's disease or dementia in people with Parkinson's disease. Continue to use transdermal rivastigmine even if you feel well. Do not skip using transdermal rivastigmine without talking to your doctor.
Apply the patch to clean, dry skin that is relatively free of hair (upper or lower back or upper arm or chest). Do not apply the patch to an open wound or cut, to skin that is irritated, red, or to skin that is affected by a rash or other skin problem. Do not apply the patch to a place that would be rubbed against by tight clothing. Select a different area each day to avoid skin irritation. Be sure to remove the patch before you apply another one. Do not apply a patch to the same spot for at least 14 days.
If the patch loosens or falls off, replace it with a new patch. However, you should remove the new patch at the time that you were scheduled to remove the original patch.
While you are wearing a rivastigmine patch, protect the patch from direct heat such as heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, and heated water beds. Do not expose the patch to direct sunlight for very long.
To apply the patch, follow these steps:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using transdermal rivastigmine,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Apply the missed patch as soon as you remember it. However, you should still remove the patch at your regular patch removal time. If it is almost time for the next patch, skip the missed patch and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.
Transdermal rivastigmine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Dispose of any patches that are outdated or no longer needed by opening each pouch, folding each patch in half with the sticky sides together. Place the folded patch in the original pouch and dispose of it safely, out of the reach of children and pets.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
If someone applies extra or a higher dosage of rivastigmine patches but does not have any of the symptoms listed below, remove the patch or patches. Call your doctor and do not apply any additional patches for the next 24 hours.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.