Objectives: Since January 2008 in The Netherlands, two Cholinesterase inhibitors, oral galantamine and rivastigmine transdermal patch, are registered as a one-day symptomatic treatment for Alzheimer's disease. As no head to head study was performed yet, the objective of this study was to describe the daily practice of oral galantamine and rivastigmine transdermal patch in a real life population of a memory clinic of a suburban teaching hospital in The Netherlands. Methods: A randomized open label study in 84 ambulant Alzheimer's patients with at least 6 months follow-up and treated either with oral galantamine (group G) or rivastigmine transdermal patch (group R). Data collection included patients' demographic and disease variables. Adverse events were collected and, in case of interruption of the primary treatment, the alternative treatment was registered. Results: Serious adverse events did not occur. In group G respectively group R adverse events occurred in 20 patients (50%) and 18 patients (41%). No difference occurred in the frequency of nausea or vomiting. In group R more patients noted dermatological adverse events. In group G respectively group R medication was stopped in 12 patients (30%) and 14 patients (32%). However, compared to group G after stopping the treatment in group R more patients received a new anti-dementia medication (respectively 11 patients (79%) and 4 patients (33%)) (χ2(1) = 5.418, p = .026). Conclusion: Despite different forms, the use of oral galantamine and rivastigmine transdermal patch showed neither difference in the frequency of adverse events neither in the frequency of stopping primary treatment. However, compared to oral galantamine use, rivastigmine transdermal patch resulted in more dermatological adverse events and after stopping rivastigmine transdermal patch, new anti-dementia medication or form was more often started. More research is urgently needed.

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Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wouters, C.J, Dautzenberg, L, Thissen, A, & Dautzenberg, P.L.J. (2010). Oral galantamine versus rivastigmine transdermal patch: A descriptive study at a memory clinic in the Netherlands [Galantamine of rivastigmine pleister. Een beschrijvend onderzoek op een geheugenpolikliniek in Nederland]. Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie, 41(3), 146–150. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/20153