Rivastigmine (patch)


What does it do?

Rivastigmine is used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, such as confusion or memory loss.

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart or bladder problems, or if you have ever had a stomach ulcer.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Your doctor may do a heart test (ECG) before you start and while you are taking rivastigmine.

How should you use it?

Use rivastigmine regularly as directed. Apply the patch to a clean, dry, hairless area of skin (such as the chest, back or upper arm). When you have removed the old patch, apply the new one in a different place to prevent irritating your skin. Do not cut the patch.

What if you forget a dose?

If you forget to change the patch, remove the old patch and apply a new one as soon as possible. Then apply your next patch at your normal time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

Important information continues on next page.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Coughing or vomiting of blood, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, red or black bowel motions

Symptoms of a slow or irregular heartbeat including: feeling your heart skips a beat, dizziness or fainting

Tell your doctor immediately

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, change of appetite, weight loss

Dizziness, tremor

Low mood

Red or itchy skin where patch has been applied

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Rivastigmine can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)