27 April 2009

New Cochrane Review on rivastigmine (Exelon)

Lower doses of dementia drug boost brain function, reduce side effects
Health Behavior Science News: 23 April 2009
Sometimes less is more: Lower doses of an Alzheimer’s drug delivered via skin patches improve cognition with fewer serious side effects than higher doses, researchers have found in an updated review.

“Is there any advantage of giving patients higher doses of rivastigmine? There doesn’t seem to be any,” said lead review author Jacqueline Birks, senior medical statistician for the University of Oxford, in England.

Previous studies had shown that high daily doses of rivastigmine (also known by its brand name, Exelon) of between 6 and 12 milligrams improved cognitive functions, such as memory, language and ability to perform simple daily living tasks, in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

However, adverse events often accompany high doses of rivastigmine. Rivastigmine is part of the drug class called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs work by improving transmission of electrical signals across certain areas of the brain. …. > full story : listen to Cochrane Library podcast

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