Exelon indications extended

The licensed indications for Novartis' acetylcholinesterase inhibitor Exelon (rivastigmine) have been extended to include the treatment of mild to moderately severe dementia in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

Previously, Exelon was indicated only for the treatment of mild to moderately severe Alzheimer's dementia.

Although individual response to rivastigmine cannot be predicted, clinical trials have shown that a greater treatment effect was seen in Parkinson's disease patients with moderate dementia, and in Parkinson's disease patients experiencing visual hallucinations.

The recommended dose is the same for both indications, beginning with 1.5mg morning and evening with meals. If well tolerated, the dose may be increased by 1.5mg at minimum two-week intervals, first to 3mg twice daily, then to 4.5mg twice daily and finally to 6mg twice daily. Patients should be maintained on the highest tolerated dose, up to a maximum of 6mg twice daily. Response to treatment should be assessed after two to four months and therapy continued only if there is positive evidence of benefit.

Further information: Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, Frimley Business Park, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7SR. Tel: (01276) 692255.
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