Senior Health Home > What Is Rivastigmine Used For?

Rivastigmine is used for treating mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. It is not a cure, but may help improve cognitive function and the ability to perform simple daily tasks. Potential off-label rivastigmine uses include the treatment of Tourette syndrome, ADHD, and cognitive impairment or dementia unrelated to Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

What Is Rivastigmine Used For? -- An Overview

Rivastigmine tartrate (Exelon®) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. It belongs to a group of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and is approved for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia associated with these conditions. This article refers to the oral forms of rivastigmine (capsules and oral solution). The drug also comes in patch form (see Rivastigmine Patch for more information).

Why Is Rivastigmine Used for Alzheimer's Dementia?

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia. It can affect cognitive functions such as memory, thought process, and language skills. The cause (or causes) of Alzheimer's disease are not known, and there is currently no cure for it. People sometimes confuse the early signs of Alzheimer's disease with the normal aging process. Eventually, the disease destroys a person's ability to think, process information, and function.
Some of the common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may include:
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired ability to understand visual information
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Deterioration of language skills
  • Poor judgment
  • Restlessness.
The recommended Alzheimer's treatment varies, depending of the different stages of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease medications are usually central to the treatment of the condition. Rivastigmine has been approved for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. It is not a cure for Alzheimer's, nor does it slow down the progression of the disease or prevent it from occurring. It can, however, help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple daily tasks.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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