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Rivastigmine (ri va STIG meen)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Exelon

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Rivastigmine; Exelon; Mylan-Rivastigmine; Novo-Rivastigmine; PMS-Rivastigmine; ratio-Rivastigmine; Sandoz-Rivastigmine

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat dementia.
  • It is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It is used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to rivastigmine or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Skin patch:

  • Avoid use of heat sources (such as sunlamps, tanning beds, heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated waterbeds). Avoid long, hot baths or sunbathing. Your temperature may rise and cause too much drug to pass into your body.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
  • Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • A big weight loss.
  • Seizures.
  • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Very bad skin irritation.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Not hungry.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Not able to sleep.

Skin patch:

  • Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

All oral products:

  • Take at breakfast and dinner.
  • Take this drug at the same time of day.

Capsule:

  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

Oral solution:

  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug.
  • Take alone or mix with water, juice, or soda before drinking.

Skin patch:

  • Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only.
  • Do not use patches that are cut or do not look right.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Put patch on clean, dry, healthy skin on the upper or lower back. If you are not able to do this, put on upper arm or chest.
  • Put patch on a site without hair.
  • Move the patch site with each new patch. Do not put on the same site for 14 days.
  • If the patch falls off, put a new one on.
  • Put patch on at the same time of day.
  • Do not put on more than 1 patch at a time. Take off the old patch before you put a new one on. Wearing more than 1 patch at a time can lead to very bad and sometimes deadly overdose.
  • Be careful to not knock loose the patch while bathing or showering.
  • After you take off a skin patch, be sure to fold the sticky sides of the patch to each other.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

All oral products:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, with a meal.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Skin patch:

  • Put on a missed patch as soon as you think about it after taking off the old one.
  • Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.

All products:

  • If you miss taking this drug for a few days in a row, call your doctor before you start taking it again.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Oral solution:

  • Do not freeze.

Skin patch:

  • Store patches in pouch until ready for use.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

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