FDA grants approval for Alzheimer's drug patch
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first skin patch to treat the mild to moderate dementia symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.The drug in the patch, called Exelon or rivastigmine, is the same as the drug now available in capsule form, but the patch provides a regular and continuous dose throughout the day, according its maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. Since the drug enters the bloodstream directly it helps to eliminate some of the gastrointestinal side effects associated with the oral version of the medication. The FDA also approved the patch to treat Parkinson's disease dementia.
Rivastigmine inhibits the breakdown of a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine, thought important for both learning and memory. The patch, which can be applied to the back, chest or upper arm, maintains steady drug levels in the bloodstream for a 24-hour period, according to Novartis.
For more information, visit http://www.novartis.com.