What is galantamine?

Galantamine improves the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine (ah see til KO leen). People with dementia usually have lower levels of this chemical, which is important for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning.

Galantamine is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Galantamine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to galantamine.

Before taking galantamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • urination problems;
  • heart disease or a heart rhythm disorder;
  • a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • a history of asthma or obstructive pulmonary disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take galantamine.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether galantamine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Galantamine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include severe nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, muscle weakness or spasm, watery eyes, drooling, increased urination or bowel movements, sweating, slow heart rate, feeling light-headed or fainting, and seizure (convulsions).

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using galantamine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain, slow heart rate;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • weakness, confusion, decreased sweating, extreme thirst, hot dry skin; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • feeling tired, dizzy, or light-headed;
  • nausea, vomiting, gas, loss of appetite;
  • weight loss; or
  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before taking galantamine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • atropine (Donnatal, and others);
  • belladonna;
  • clidinium (Quarzan);
  • dicyclomine (Bentyl);
  • glycopyrrolate (Robinul);
  • hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others);
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • mepenzolate (Cantil);
  • methantheline (Provocholine);
  • methscopolamine (Pamine);
  • paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva);
  • propantheline (Pro-Banthine); or
  • scopolamine (Transderm-Scop).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with galantamine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Razadyne, Razadyne ER, Reminyl, and galantamine

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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