Exelon (generic: rivastigmine) is a prescription medication used to treat dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. Exelon belongs to a group of drugs called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It works by increasing the amount of certain natural subtances to improve mental function.
This medication comes in capsule and oral solution (liquid) forms. It is usually taken twice a day with meals.
Common side effects of Exelon include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dizziness.
Exelon is a prescription medicine used to treat dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Exelon may cause serious side effects including:
- Stomach or bowel (intestinal) problems, including:
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- bleeding in your stomach (ulcers)
- heart problems
- problems with movement (tremors)
The most common side effects of Exelon include:
- loss of appetite
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Exelon Patch. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following:
- aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- bethanechol (Duvoid, Urabeth, Urecholine)
- ipratropium (Atrovent)
- medicines for Alzheimer's disease
- glaucoma medicines
- medicines for irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems.
Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
Do not take Exelon if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Exelon. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of ingredients.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Exelon there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Exelon.
Before taking Exelon:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Exelon, neostigmine (Prostigmin), physostigmine (Antilirium, Isopto Eserine), pyridostigmine (Mestinon, Regonol), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in Exelon solution. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients..
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines; aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); bethanechol (Duvoid, Urabeth, Urecholine); ipratropium (Atrovent); and medications for Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, an enlarged prostate or other condition that blocks the flow of urine, ulcers, abnormal heart beats, or other heartor lung disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Exelon, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Exelon.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Exelon will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. It is not known if Exelon is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.
- Exelon comes as a capsule and solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with meals in the morning and evening. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Exelon exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will start you on a low dose of Exelon and slowly increase your dose, but not more than once every 2 weeks.
- Exelon may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities, but does not cure Alzheimer's disease or dementia in people with Parkinson's disease. Continue to take Exelon even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Exelon without talking to your doctor.
- If you are taking Exelon oral solution, ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's instructions for use. Carefully read these instructions. Always use the oral dosing syringe that comes with Exelon solution to measure your dose. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about how to measure your dose of Exelon solution.
- Exelon oral solution may be swallowed directly from the syringe or mixed with a liquid before use. Mix it with a small glass of water, cold fruit juice, or soda. Be sure to stir the mixture completely. Do not mix this medication with any liquid other than the ones listed. If the medication is mixed with water, juice, or soda, it must be taken within 4 hours.
Follow these steps to take a dose of Exelon:
- Remove the oral dosing syringe that came with this medication from its protective case.
- Push down and twist off the child-resistant cap to open the bottle of Exelon solution.
- Put the tip of the oral syringe into the white stopper opening on top of the bottle.
- While holding the syringe straight up, pull up on the plunger to the mark on the syringe that equals your dose.
- Check the liquid in the syringe for air bubbles. If there are large air bubbles, gently move the syringe plunger up and down a few times. Do not worry about a few tiny air bubbles.
- Make sure the plunger is on the mark on the syringe that equals your dose.
- Remove the oral syringe from the bottle by pulling up on it.
- Swallow your dose from the syringe directly, or mix it with the liquid you have chosen. Drink or swallow all of the solution.
- Wipe off the outside of the oral syringe with a clean tissue, and put the syringe back into its case.
- Close the child-resistant cap on the bottle of medication.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you.
The recommended Exelon starting dose for Alzheimer's Dementia is 1.5 mg taken twice daily. The dose may be increased after a minimum of 2 weeks, to 3 mg twice daily, if Exelon is well tolerated and dose increase is necessary. After two more weeks, the dose may be further increased to 4.5 mg taken twice daily. Then, after an additional two weeks, the maximum recommended dose of 6 mg twice daily may be given.
The recommended Exelon starting dose for Parkinson's Dementia is 1.5 mg taken twice daily. The dose may be increased after a minimum of 4 weeks, to 3 mg twice daily, if Exelon is well tolerated and dose increase is necessary. After four more weeks, the dose may be further increased to 4.5 mg taken twice daily. Then, after an additional four weeks, the maximum recommended dose is 6 mg twice daily may be given.
If you have taken too much Exelon (more than the prescribed amount) call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Exelon capsules are available in 1.5 mg, 3 mg, 4.5 mg and 6 mg strengths. It is also available in a 2 mg/mL solution (liquid). The active ingredient is rivastigmine tartrate.
Store Exelon capsules at controlled room temperature in a tight container. Protect Exelon solution from freezing and store in an upright position.
Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.
February 15, 2013