What Is a Rivastigmine Patch?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2019
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A rivastigmine patch is used to treat dementia in patients who have medical conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. This patch is normally applied once per day, and the dosage may be gradually increased in order to minimize the possibility of developing negative side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. The rivastigmine patch should be applied to clean, dry skin and should be used according to package directions unless instructed otherwise by the supervising physician. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of the rivastigmine patch in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are medical conditions that affect the brain and cause a symptom known as dementia. Some of the effects of dementia may include personality changes, forgetfulness, or impaired judgment. A doctor may prescribe the rivastigmine patch to patients who exhibit signs of mild to moderate dementia and have a diagnosis of either Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. This medication may not work properly when combined with some other medications, so the supervising physician should be made aware of all medications being taken by the patient.


Many people are able to use the rivastigmine patch without experiencing any negative side effects, although mild nausea and dizziness are common, especially until the body adjusts to the medication. In an effort to reduce the severity of these side effects, the doctor may prescribe a low-dose patch and gradually increase the dosage to the recommended strength. If these symptoms persist or become worse, the doctor should be notified for further evaluation. Serious potential side effects that should be reported immediately include uncontrolled muscle twitching, irregular heartbeat, or seizures.

Specific instructions for using the rivastigmine patch are printed on the packaging, and any questions concerning the proper use of this medication can be directed to the doctor or pharmacist. In most cases, the patch is applied to clean, dry skin once every 24 hours. The old patch must be removed before the new one is applied, and a different area of skin should be used for each application in order to prevent skin irritation. The hands should be thoroughly washed after applying the rivastigmine patch to avoid transferring the medication to other people or to sensitive areas such as the eyes. If the patient or caregiver forgets to apply a new patch at the appropriate time, a doctor should be consulted for further instructions.



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