NZ Formulary



What does it do?

Rivastigmine is used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, such as confusion or memory loss.

How should you take it?

Take rivastigmine regularly as directed with food and a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with rivastigmine including:

  • some antihistamines (may be in anti-allergy, anti-nausea and cough/cold medicines)
  • anti-nausea medicines (e.g. prochlorperazine, hyoscine (e.g. Scopoderm TTS®), meclozine (e.g. Sea-legs®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Abdominal pain

Blood in sputum, vomit or bowel motions

Change in heartbeat, chest pain, fainting

Tell your doctor immediately

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, change of appetite, weight loss

Headache, dizziness, tiredness or weakness, tremor

Low mood, trouble sleeping


Trouble peeing

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, lung or bladder problems, Parkinson’s disease, or if you have ever had a stomach ulcer or a seizure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Smoking may change the effect of rivastigmine - discuss with your doctor.
  • Rivastigmine can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)