Alzheimers Home > Specific Safety Concerns With Exelon

Specific Exelon Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Exelon include the following:
  • The medication can cause severe gastrointestinal reactions, including severe nausea and vomiting. To help avoid such problems, Exelon should always be started at the lowest dose and increased slowly. If you stop taking Exelon for an extended period of time, your healthcare provider should recommend that you restart back at the lowest dose. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop severe gastrointestinal Exelon side effects at any time.
  • Exelon can cause significant weight loss, probably due to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you lose a significant amount of weight while taking the drug.
  • The medication may have an effect on the heart, possibly causing a dangerously slow heart rate. This is probably more common in people with heart conditions, but can occur in people without any heart problems.
  • Exelon may increase the production of stomach acid, thereby increasing the risk of stomach or intestinal ulcers. If you have an ulcer (or a history of ulcers), your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure the drug is not making these problems worse.
  • Exelon can impair the ability of the bladder to empty, causing difficulty urinating. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any bladder problems while taking the drug.
  • Even though this medication is approved to treat Parkinson's dementia, it can make some Parkinson's symptoms (such as tremors) worse. You and your healthcare provider may need to make a decision about whether the cognitive benefits of Exelon are worth a worsening of the physical Parkinson's disease symptoms.
  • Exelon could cause seizures or make seizures worse. However, Alzheimer's disease itself may also cause seizures.
  • The medication may cause a worsening of asthma symptoms. Check with your healthcare provider before taking Exelon if you have asthma.
  • If you have a surgery planned, make sure to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you are taking Exelon, as it can interact with some medications used during anesthesia.
  • Exelon can potentially interact with several medications (see Exelon Drug Interactions).
  • Exelon is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Exelon and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known whether Exelon passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Exelon and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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