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Exelon Side Effects

Generic Name: rivastigmine

Note: This document contains side effect information about rivastigmine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Exelon.

For the Consumer

Applies to rivastigmine: oral capsule, oral solution

Along with its needed effects, rivastigmine (the active ingredient contained in Exelon) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking rivastigmine:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of strength
  • nausea and vomiting
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Fainting
Rare
  • Aggression
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • trembling and shaking of the hands and fingers
  • trouble urinating
Incidence not known
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • constipation
  • difficulty with speaking
  • drooling
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • loss of balance control
  • muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  • restlessness
  • severe stomach pain
  • shortness of breath
  • shuffling walk
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • stiffness of the limbs
  • trouble urinating
  • twisting movements of the body
  • uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back
  • unusual tiredness
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking rivastigmine:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • increased sweating
  • increased watering of the mouth
  • irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • nausea (severe)
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • seizures
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • trouble breathing
  • unusual tiredness
  • vomiting (severe)

Some side effects of rivastigmine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain or cramping
  • bloated or full feeling
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • mental depression
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • trouble sleeping
Less common
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • runny nose

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to rivastigmine: oral capsule, oral solution, transdermal film extended release

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperhidrosis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Rash
Frequency not reported: Pruritus
Postmarketing reports: Stevens-Johnson syndrome disseminated allergic dermatitis[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension, bradycardia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypotension
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Angina pectoris
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Cardiac arrhythmia (e.g., bradycardia, atrioventricular block, atrial fibrillation, tachycardia)
Frequency not reported: Sick sinus syndrome[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea (47%), vomiting (31%)diarrhea (19%), abdominal pain (13%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, salivary hypersecretion, upper abdominal pain, flatulence, eructation
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Gastric and duodenal ulcers
Very rare (less than 0.01%): GI hemorrhage, pancreatitis
Frequency not reported: Some cases of severe vomiting were associated with esophageal rupture[Ref]

Genitourinary

Common (1% to 10%): Urinary incontinence
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Urinary tract infection[Ref]

Hepatic

Frequency not reported: Elevated liver function tests, hepatitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Tremor (23%), dizziness (21%)
Common (1% to 10%): Somnolence, bradykinesia, dyskinesia, cogwheel rigidity, hypokinesia, vertigo, psychomotor hyperactivity, gait disturbance, Parkinson gait, headache
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Syncope, dystonia
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Seizures[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, confusion, depression, anxiety, hallucination, agitation, restlessness, nightmares[Ref]

Local

Common (1% to 10%): Application site erythema, application site irritation (e.g., pruritus, rash)
Postmarketing reports: Application site hypersensitivity, urticaria, blister, allergic dermatitis[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite
Frequency not reported: Dehydration[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, weight loss, fatigue, malaise, fall[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Rhinitis[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Monastero R, Lopez G, Mannino M, Camarda R "Erythematous maculopapular eruption due to rivastigmine therapy." Am J Med 111 (2001): 583-4

3. "Product Information. Exelon (rivastigmine)" Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, NJ.

4. Kayrak M, Yazici M, Ayhan SS, Koc F, Ulgen MS "Complete atrioventricular block associated with rivastigmine therapy." Am J Health Syst Pharm 65 (2008): 1051-3

Some side effects of Exelon may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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