A new drug is making its debut in Canada in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. The treatment is called Exelon™ (rivastigmine) and has been released by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. The drug comes in the form of capsules and has earned approval from Health Canada. Exelon targets the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
The new treatment belongs to a category of drugs that have been the most effective in combating Alzheimer’s disease. The category is composed of cholinesterase inhibitors that play key roles in memory and cognition preservation.
In a clinical trial, subjects administered Exelon were successful in maintaining their capacity to autonomously complete quotidian tasks such as eating and getting dressed. Compared to the placebo group, patients taking Exelon performed better in evaluations of word recall and recognition, orientation and speaking ability.
The side effects of Exelon mimic those commonly linked with cholinesterase inhibitors, i.e. gastro-intestinal problems such as vomiting and nausea. In most cases, the treatment was well tolerated.
The research that facilitated the approval of Exelon was the largest phase III clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s treatment. The patient pool of the study was composed of 3,900 people from Canada, the United States, Europe, South Africa and Australia.
Research continues in assessing Exelon’s potential in areas of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.