Transdermal rivastigmine comes as a patch you apply to the skin. It is usually applied once a day. Apply the rivastigmine patch at around the same time each day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the rivastigmine skin patch exactly as directed. Do not apply it more or less often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of rivastigmine and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every 4 weeks.
Transdermal rivastigmine may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities, but it does not cure Alzheimer's disease or dementia in people with Parkinson's disease. Continue to use transdermal rivastigmine even if you feel well. Do not skip using transdermal rivastigmine without talking to your doctor.
Apply the patch to clean, dry skin that is relatively free of hair (upper or lower back or upper arm or chest). Do not apply the patch to an open wound or cut, to skin that is irritated, red, or to skin that is affected by a rash or other skin problem. Do not apply the patch to a place that would be rubbed against by tight clothing. Select a different area each day to avoid skin irritation. Be sure to remove the patch before you apply another one. Do not apply a patch to the same spot for at least 14 days.
If the patch loosens or falls off, replace it with a new patch. However, you should remove the new patch at the time that you were scheduled to remove the original patch.
While you are wearing a rivastigmine patch, protect the patch from direct heat such as heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, and heated water beds. Do not expose the patch to direct sunlight for very long.
To apply the patch, follow these steps:
- Choose the area where you will apply the patch. Wash the area with soap and warm water. Rinse off all of the soap and dry the area with a clean towel. Be sure the skin is free of powders, oil, and lotions.
- Select a patch in a sealed pouch and cut open the pouch open with scissors. Be careful not to cut the patch.
- Remove the patch from the pouch and hold it with the protective liner facing you.
- Peel the liner off one side of the patch. Be careful not to touch the sticky side with your fingers. A second strip of liner should remain stuck to the patch.
- Press the patch firmly onto your skin with the sticky side down.
- Remove the second strip of protective liner and press the rest of the sticky side of the patch firmly against your skin. Be sure that the patch is pressed flat against the skin with no bumps or folds and the edges are firmly attached to the skin.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after you handle the patch.
- After you have worn the patch for 24 hours, use your fingers to peel the patch off slowly and gently. Fold the patch in half with the sticky sides together and dispose of it safely, out of reach of children and pets.
- Apply a new patch to a different area immediately by following steps 1 to 8.