Alzheimers Home > Exelon Side Effects
Dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea are the most common side effects reported with Exelon. Side effects that have been reported in less than 1 percent of people taking the drug (which may be unrelated to Parkinson's or Alzheimer's) include gingivitis, coughing, and bruising. Most side effects of Exelon are minor, but some may require medical attention, such as hallucinations, high blood pressure, and seizures.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Exelon® (rivastigmine tartrate); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, many people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
This article refers to the oral forms of Exelon (capsules and oral solution). The drug also comes in patch form (see Exelon Patch Side effects for more information about the side effects of this product). The Exelon Patch provides the benefits of once-daily dosing and a continuous release of the medication.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Exelon. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Exelon side effects with you.)
Exelon has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these trials, one group of people was given the real medication, while another group was given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). This way, it is possible to see what Exelon side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group who took the placebo.
In these studies, the most common side effects included:
- Nausea -- in up to 47 percent of people
- Vomiting -- up to 31 percent
- Dizziness -- up to 21 percent
- Diarrhea -- up to 19 percent
- Loss of appetite -- up to 17 percent
- Headaches -- up to 17 percent
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 13 percent
- Accidental injury -- up to 10 percent
- Shakiness (tremor) -- up to 10 percent.
Other common Exelon side effects, occurring in 2 to 9 percent of people, included:
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as a bladder infection
- A general ill feeling (known as malaise)
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Increased sweating
- Upper abdominal pain
- Flu-like symptoms (such as a fever and chills)
- A worsening of Parkinson's disease symptoms (in people taking the drug for Parkinson's dementia)
- Weight loss (see Exelon and Weight Loss)