Medication Information Leaflet
Rivastigmine belongs to a class of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It is used to reduce symptoms of mild to moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s dementia, or other types of dementia, such as:
It will not cure or stop the dementia from getting worse, but it may improve the ability to think in some patients and slow down the worsening of these symptoms.
Check with your healthcare professional if you are unsure why you are given this medication.
For Rivastigmine capsules:
For Rivastigmine patches:
If you are taking Rivastigmine capsules and have forgotten to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then take the next dose at your usual timing. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
If you are using Rivastigmine patches and have forgotten to apply the patch, apply one patch immediately. Change the patch at your usual timing the next day. Do not apply 2 patches to make up for the missed dose.
If it has been more than 3 days since you have last taken a dose or applied a patch, consult your doctor before taking or applying it again. You may need to be restarted on a lower dose.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
You are taking any other medications including over-the-counter medications, supplements, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies. Some of these may affect how this medication works or cause serious drug interactions.
You have or have ever had:
Other drug allergies or previous skin reaction to medicinal patches/plasters
Medical conditions such as:
Heart, kidney or liver disease, slow or irregular heartbeat
Seizures (fits), asthma, breathing problems, stomach or intestinal ulcers, or difficulty passing urine
The mentioned side effects generally affect up to 10% of patients.
Feeling tired or drowsy
Discuss with your doctor if you can take this medication at a different time of the day
Avoid driving or engaging in activities requiring concentration
Nausea or vomiting (more common with oral capsules)
Take the medication with or after food
Take small but frequent meals and avoid fatty or spicy food
Light-headedness (especially during a sudden change in posture)
Skin irritation (for Rivastigmine patch)
Change the site of application each time, on skin that is free of wounds or rashes.
Avoid applying the patch to the exact same area of skin for at least 14 days.
If there is any sign of rash after applying the patch, speak to your doctor if the rash does not go away after 2 days.
Difficulty sleeping (more common for patch)
Avoid daytime naps; listen to relaxing music at bedtime
Avoid overeating or drinking before bedtime
Limit caffeine intake to at least 8 hours before bedtime
Loss of appetite or weight loss
Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak to your doctor if they are bothersome, get worse or are affecting your daily life.
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
Difficulty in breathing
Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
Rarely this medication may cause:
Severe stomach pain and vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds; bloody or black tarry stools (signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding)
Fainting episodes or increased incidence of falling
Difficulty or pain in passing urine
Chest pain, slow or irregular heartbeat
Seeing or hearing things that are not present (hallucinations)
Anxiety, agitation or low mood
If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop your medication and inform your healthcare professional immediately.
Please also take note that not all possible side effects are listed above. If you have any concerns about your medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it may cause too much drowsiness.
Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.
Pack this medication into a trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.
For Rivastigmine patch, fold the sticky sides together, place the folded patch into the empty pouch of the new patch and discard it into a trash bag.
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.
Last updated on Oct 2021
This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
In partnership with