Exelon is a medication that is classified as a cholinesterase inhibitor that your doctor may prescribe to treat the symptoms of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, such as memory loss and confusion. It may take up to twelve weeks for Exelon to begin working; response time will vary from one individual to another.
For patient convenience, there are three options for prescribing Exelon; pill form, liquid solution, and a transdermal patch. A prescription is required to purchase Exelon or the generic alternative Rivastigmine. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When taken orally as directed, Exelon works to block a certain enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine; this is a neurotransmitter or brain chemical that is involved in learning and memory. This action increases the level of acetylcholine in the brain by preventing the action of acetylcholinesterase, the compound that normally breaks it down. This slows the breakdown of the acetylcholine released from remaining undamaged nerve cells in the brain and results in an increases of its activity in the brain. The cognitive processes of thinking, learning, and memory improves and those with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease are able to function better to carry out their daily tasks .
One of the features of both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease appears to be a lower than normal level of acetylcholine in the brain. This is due in part to degeneration of brain cells, in particular those that normally release acetylcholine.
Dementia is characterized by memory impairment, the inability to reason or organize thoughts, and disturbances in language and perception. Exelon is not a cure for dementia, but a way to increase the natural chemical levels of acetylcholine to help nerve cells in the brain to message each other more efficiently. Some memory loss is a natural part of the aging process and seldom interferes with daily tasks. With the help of Exelon, individuals with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease may be able to function unaided for a longer period of time.
Your doctor should be told about other medical conditions of allergies you have and be provided with a list an any OTC and Rx drug, herbal remedies, and vitamin or dietary supplements, in order to determine if Exelon is the right medication for your situation.
Until you know how you will react to Exelon, do not attempt any activities that require you to be alert or clear-headed. Stomach pain, bloody stools, chest pain, and fainting while taking Exelon should be reported to your doctor right away. Keep all medications out of children’s reach and never share drugs with others.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following side effects while taking Exelon: depression; high blood pressure; signs of liver problems; worsening of Parkinson’s symptoms.