Parkinsons Disease Home > Exelon Patch Warnings and Precautions

There are several Exelon Patch warnings and precautions to be aware of before starting the medication. It is important to know that the Exelon Patch may cause severe gastrointestinal reactions, interfere with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, and cause significant weight loss. Exelon Patch warnings and precautions also apply to people with heart problems, asthma, or epilepsy.

Exelon Patch: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using the Exelon® Patch (rivastigmine patch) if you have:
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • A low body weight (less than 110 pounds)
  • An upcoming surgery
  • Heart problems
  • Stomach or intestinal ulcers (or a history of such problems)
  • Bladder problems
  • Asthma
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Exelon Patch Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using the Exelon Patch include the following:
  • The Exelon Patch may interfere with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Make sure you know how the patch affects you before performing such activities.
  • Even though the Exelon Patch is approved to treat Parkinson's dementia, it can make some Parkinson's symptoms (such as tremors) worse. You and your healthcare provider may need to make a decision about whether the cognitive benefits of the patch are worth a worsening of the physical Parkinson's disease symptoms.
  • The patch can cause severe gastrointestinal reactions (such as severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), especially at high doses. To help avoid such problems, the Exelon Patch should always be started at the lowest dose and increased slowly. If you stop using the patch for an extended period, your healthcare provider should recommend that you restart at the lowest dose. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop severe gastrointestinal side effects at any time.
  • The Exelon Patch can cause significant weight loss, probably due to other Exelon Patch side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you lose a significant amount of weight while using the patch.
  • If you weigh less than 110 pounds, you may be at a higher risk for side effects. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely in this case.
  • The Exelon Patch may increase the production of stomach acid, possibly increasing the risk of stomach or intestinal ulcers. If you have an ulcer (or a history of ulcers), your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure the patch is not making these problems worse.
  • The patch may have effects on the heart, possibly causing a dangerously slow heart rate. This is probably more common in people with heart conditions, but can occur in people without any heart problems.
  • The Exelon Patch can impair the ability of the bladder to empty, thereby causing difficulty urinating. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any bladder problems while using the patch.
  • The Exelon Patch can cause allergic reactions, which are different and more severe than the normal mild skin reactions that are common with the patch. An allergic reaction rather than just an irritation reaction should be suspected if the reaction spreads beyond the patch size, if it is severe (it involves intense redness, swelling, or bumps), and if symptoms do not improve significantly within 48 hours after patch removal. If you are allergic to the patches, your healthcare provider should switch to another medication (perhaps the oral form of Exelon).
  • The Exelon Patch could cause seizures or make seizures worse. However, Alzheimer's disease itself may also cause seizures.
  • The patch may cause a worsening of asthma symptoms. Check with your healthcare provider before using the Exelon Patch if you have asthma.
  • If you have a surgery planned, make sure to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you are using the Exelon Patch, as it can interact with some medications used during anesthesia.
  • The Exelon Patch can potentially interact with several medications (see Exelon Patch Interactions).
  • The Exelon Patch is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Exelon and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known whether the medication in the Exelon Patch passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using it (see Exelon and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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