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Do Local Meteorological Conditions Influence Skin Irritation Caused by Transdermal Rivastigmine?: A Retroprospective, Pilot Study

Segers, Kurt MD*; Cytryn, Ephraim MD; Surquin, Murielle MD, PhD

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: June 2012 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 412–415
doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e3182524511
Brief Reports

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.

From the *Neurology Department and †Geriatrics Department, Brugmann University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Received June 23, 2011; accepted after revision November 4, 2011.

Reprints: Kurt Segers, MD, Neurology Department, Brugmann University Hospital, Van Gehuchtenplein 4, 1020 Brussels, Belgium (e-mail:

This study was performed without financial support.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.