Drugs & Aging

, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 639–649 | Cite as

Rivastigmine Transdermal Patch 13.3 mg/24 h: A Review of Its Use in the Management of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Dementia

  • James E. FramptonEmail author
Adis Drug Evaluation


Rivastigmine is unique among cholinesterase inhibitors commonly used in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in that it is available as a transdermal patch formulation (Exelon® patch, Rivastach® patch, Prometax® patch). The patch is applied once daily and, in the EU (and US), is available in three sizes: 5, 10 and 15 cm2 (releasing 4.6, 9.5 and 13.3 mg rivastigmine/24 h, respectively). In the phase III OPTIMA trial, patients with mild to moderate AD who experienced functional and cognitive decline on the 10 cm2 patch—the recommended maintenance dose—gained additional benefit when their dose was increased to the 15 cm2 patch. For example, 15 cm2 patch recipients showed significantly less functional and cognitive decline than 10 cm2 patch recipients after 24 weeks of double-blind treatment. Patients receiving the 15 cm2 patch also showed significantly less functional, but not cognitive, decline than those receiving the 10 cm2 patch after 48 weeks of double-blind treatment; as such, OPTIMA only met one of its two co-primary endpoints. The 15 cm2 patch was generally well tolerated; although more 15 cm2 than 10 cm2 patch recipients reported adverse events (e.g. nausea and vomiting), fewer 15 cm2 than 10 cm2 patch recipients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. By further slowing functional deterioration without markedly compromising tolerability, increasing the transdermal rivastigmine dose to the 15 cm2 patch has a favourable benefit-risk profile—and therefore represents a valid option—in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate AD who have previously experienced functional and cognitive decline while receiving the 10 cm2 patch.


Rivastigmine Application Site Reaction Coprimary Endpoint Rivastigmine Patch Exelon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding. During the peer review process, the manufacturer of the agent under review was offered an opportunity to comment on this article. Changes resulting from comments received were made by the authors on the basis of scientific and editorial merit. James Frampton is a salaried employee of Adis/Springer.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AdisAucklandNew Zealand

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