A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has examined the 30 day risk of hospital admission with rhabdomyolysis connected to the initiation of treatment with the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil, compared to other agents (rivastigmine and galantamine) from the same class that are commonly used to address symptoms of Alzheimer disease/other dementias . The retrospective cohort study was conducted to cover the period spanning 2002 – 2017 and involved patients aged 66 years and above (mean age 81.1 years) who had been newly prescribed one of the drugs. While the risk of hospital admission with rhabdomyolysis was higher in patients taking donepezil compared to those taking rivastigmine and galantamine (weighted odds ratio: 2.21 [95% CIL 1.52–3.22]), a majority of hospital admissions with rhabdomyolysis after taking donepezil were not severe and no patients in the study required acute dialysis or mechanical ventilation. The full details of the study can be accessed here.

Contributed by Australian Medication Safety Services Associate – Isabella Singh