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REVIEW Rivastigmine is a carbamate derivative that is structurally related to physostigmine, but not to donepezil and tacrine. The precise mechanism of rivastigmine has not been fully determined, but it is suggested that rivastigmine binds reversibly with and inactivates chlolinesterase (eg. acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase), preventing the hydrolysis of acetycholine, and thus leading to an increased concentration of acetylcholine at cholinergic synapses. The anticholinesterase activity of rivastigmine is relatively specific for brain acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase compared with those in peripheral tissues.
Camps P, Munoz-Torrero D: Cholinergic drugs in pharmacotherapy of Alzheimer's disease. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2002 Feb;2(1):11-25.
Rosler M, Anand R, Cicin-Sain A, Gauthier S, Agid Y, Dal-Bianco P, Stahelin HB, Hartman R, Gharabawi M: Efficacy and safety of rivastigmine in patients with Alzheimer's disease: international randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 1999 Mar 6;318(7184):633-8.
Finkel SI: Effects of rivastigmine on behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in Alzheimer's disease. Clin Ther. 2004 Jul;26(7):980-90.
Rosler M, Retz W, Retz-Junginger P, Dennler HJ: Effects of two-year treatment with the cholinesterase inhibitor rivastigmine on behavioural symptoms in Alzheimer's disease. Behav Neurol. 1998;11(4):211-216.
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