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Rivastigmine Nearing FDA Nod for Alzheimer’s Disease

KEY POINT

The new cholinesterase inhibitor rivastigmine tartrate (Exelon—Novartis) should soon be on the U.S. market. The agent is likely to be approved for mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Some data indicate benefits of the drug in patients with moderately severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type and for treating behavioral symptoms in nursing home patients with AD or Lewy body dementia, but the company is not pursuing FDA approval for these uses.

SOURCES

Corey-Bloom J et al. A randomized trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of ENA 713 (rivastigmine tartrate), a new acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, in patients with mild to moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease. Int J Geriatr Psychopharmacol. 1998;1:55–65.

Crismon ML. Pharmacokinetics and drug interactions of cholinesterase inhibitors administered in Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacotherapy. 1998(suppl);18:47S–57S.

Jann MW. Rivastigmine, a new-generation cholinesterase inhibitor for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacotherapy. 2000;20:1–12.

Farlow MR, Evans RM. Pharmacologic treatment of cognition in Alzheimer’s dementia. Neurology. 1998;51(suppl 1):S36–44.