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Characteristics of patients with Alzheimer’s disease who switch to rivastigmine transdermal patches in routine clinical practice

Authors López-Pousa S, Arranz FJ

Received 2 October 2012

Accepted for publication 29 November 2012

Published 10 January 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 47—54


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Secundino López-Pousa,1 Francisco Javier Arranz2

1Unit for Assessment of Memory and Dementia, Institut d’Assistència Sanitària de Girona, Salt, Girona, 2CNS Area, Medical Department and Health Innovation, Esteve, Barcelona, Spain

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients with Alzheimer’s disease who switched from any oral cholinesterase inhibitor to rivastigmine patches.
Methods: An observational, retrospective, multicenter study was conducted in patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease who had switched to rivastigmine patches within the previous year in the routine clinical practice of 150 neurologists. Sociodemographic, clinical, and therapeutic data were collected in one office visit. Stepwise logistic regression models were used to find associations.
Results: Data were obtained from a total of 1022 patients and their caregivers, and showed a mean age of 78.4 ± 6.62 years, 62.61% being women, and mostly having a family caregiver. The switch to rivastigmine patches was mainly instigated on the initiative of the physician (82.39%) or on request of the caregiver (21.23%) or patient (10.37%). Reasons for the switch included improving ease of administration (56.65%), tolerability (36.79%), efficacy (31.60%), and adherence (18.59%). Prior treatment with oral rivastigmine versus donepezil or galantamine increased the probability of switching in order to improve ease of administration (odds ratio, oral rivastigmine versus donepezil 4.20, P < 0.0001; odds ratio, oral rivastigmine versus galantamine 3.55, P < 0.0001). Conversely, previous treatment with donepezil or galantamine produced an approximate four-fold increase in the odds of switching due to lack of efficacy. A higher level of education as well as more concomitant diseases increased the probability of switching because of intolerance.
Conclusion: Improved ease of administration was the main reason for switching to transdermal rivastigmine. Other reasons involved in the decision to switch to rivastigmine patches included sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, including the educational level of patients and caregivers, number of concomitant diseases, and previous treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, cholinesterase inhibitors, donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine transdermal patches, adherence

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