Rivastigmine (sold under the trade name Exelon) is a parasympathomimetic or cholinergic agent for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type and dementia due to Parkinson's disease. Rivastigmine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, inhibits both butyrylcholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase (unlike donepezil, which selectively inhibits acetylcholinesterase). It is thought to work by inhibiting these cholinesterase enzymes, which would otherwise break down the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Rivastigmine capsules, liquid solution, and patches are used for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type and for mild to moderate dementia related to Parkinson's disease. Rivastigmine has demonstrated treatment effects on the cognitive (thinking and memory), functional (activities of daily living) and behavioral problems commonly associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease dementia. In people with either type of dementia, rivastigmine has been shown to provide meaningful symptomatic effects that may allow patients to remain independent and ‘be themselves’ for longer. In particular, it appears to show marked treatment effects in patients showing a more aggressive course of the disease, such as those with younger-onset ages, poor nutritional status, or those experiencing symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. Side effects may include nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite and weight loss. NCATS
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