Objective: This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the incidence of transdermal rivastigmine treatment withdrawal secondary to adverse skin reactions among the patients from our Memory Clinic. In addition, we tested whether climatic conditions might have an influence on skin irritations leading to eventual treatment disruption.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients from the Brugmann University Hospital Memory Clinic having started transdermal rivastigmine between June 2008 and December 2010. Local meteorological data were provided by the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium.
Results: A total of 26.9% of the patients experienced adverse skin reactions at the rivastigmine application site, leading to treatment discontinuation in 19.2% of the cases. Rivastigmine cutaneous tolerability was not found to be related to demographic parameters, Mini Mental Status Examination score, or type of dementia. High temperature and low air humidity during the first month of treatment were found to be associated with a higher incidence of skin reactions and secondary treatment disruption.
Conclusions: Transdermal rivastigmine induced a higher incidence of cutaneous adverse events than previously reported in a prospective clinical trial. Moreover, it seems that meteorological conditions favoring skin perspiration (high temperature and low air humidity) during the first month of treatment might have an influence on transdermal rivastigmine skin tolerability.