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Exelon is a medication that is used for treating mild to moderate dementia in people with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Although the drug cannot cure either condition, it can help improve cognitive function. Exelon is available by prescription only and comes in capsule and liquid form. Side effects that have been reported with the drug include dizziness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Is Exelon?

Exelon® (rivastigmine tartrate) is a prescription medication approved to treat mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. Although the medication is not a cure for these diseases, it can help with some of the symptoms.
 
This article refers to the oral forms of Exelon (capsules and oral solution). The medication also comes in patch form (see Exelon Patch for more information), which provides the benefits of once-daily dosing and a continuous release of the medication.
 
(Click Exelon Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

Exelon is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
 

How Does Exelon Work?

Exelon is part of a group of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. These medications work by preventing a specific enzyme (known as acetylcholinesterase) from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. This is a chemical that aids in many brain functions, including memory, attention, reason, and language. It is thought that problems with inadequate acetylcholine in the brain may contribute to some of the symptoms of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
 
Exelon is the only acetylcholinesterase inhibitor approved to treat dementia due to Parkinson's disease. The other medications in this class are approved to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease only.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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