GALANTAMINE

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Razadyne, Reminyl

GENERIC NAME(S): GALANTAMINE HBR

 

Description: Galantamine is a centrally-acting cholinesterase inhibitor because it has nicotinic receptor agonist properties. It elevates acetylcholine, glutamine and serotonine in the brain.

Duration: 3 hr.

Pharmacokinetics:

Absorption: Well absorbed from the GI tract.

Distribution: Protein binding: About 18%.

Metabolism: Partly metabolised by CYP2D6 and CYP3A4.

Excretion: Elimination half-life: About 7-8 hr.

Galantamine improves memory, awareness, and the ability to perform daily functions which is used to treat mild to moderate confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer’s disease. It also restores the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

How to use galantamine

Take this medication by mouth with food, usually twice daily with the morning and evening meals, or as directed by your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids with this medication unless instructed otherwise. To lower your risk of side effects, your dosage will be gradually increased to your target dose. Your dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not take more than the maximum recommended dose of 24 milligrams per day.

If you are using the liquid form of this drug, read the manufacturer’s instruction sheet that comes with the bottle. Follow the directions exactly. Use the measuring device that comes with the product to measure out your dose. Mix your dose of medication in about 4 ounces (120 milliliters) of nonalcoholic beverage, stir, and drink the entire mixture. Ask your pharmacist about any information that is unclear.

If you stop taking galantamine for longer than 3 days, your doctor may direct you to restart this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose to reduce your risk of side effects. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Do not stop taking it or increase the dosage unless your doctor instructs you to do so.

It may take at least 4 weeks of continued use before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.

Inform your doctor if your condition worsens.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly if any of these effects persist or worsen:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • fainting
  • unusually slow heartbeat
  • difficult urination

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • seizures
  • black/bloody stools
  • vomit that looks bloody or like coffee grounds
  • severe stomach/abdominal pain
  • irregular heartbeat

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking galantamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to daffodil plants; or if you have any other allergies. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe liver or kidney disease.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • liver problems
  • kidney problems
  • stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., ulcers, bleeding)
  • heart problems (e.g., sick sinus syndrome, bradycardia, AV block, arrhythmias)
  • breathing/lung problems (e.g., severe asthma, COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • seizures
  • problems urinating (e.g., due to enlarged prostate)

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

 

Interactions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

  • anticholinergic drugs (e.g., atropine, diphenhydramine, scopolamine, tolterodine)
  • aspirin (high doses used for arthritis)
  • cholinergic drugs (e.g., bethanechol)
  • cholinesterase inhibitors (e.g., neostigmine)
  • long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove galantamine from your body (such as azole antifungals including ketoconazole, amitriptyline, SSRI antidepressants including paroxetine, quinidine)

Also report the use of heart drugs (those that decrease heart rate or block AV impulse conduction) such as: beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil), digoxin.

Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen) which, if taken together with galantamine, may increase your risk for stomach/intestinal bleeding. Low-dose aspirin, as prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day), should be continued. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include muscle weakness or twitching, severe stomach cramping, slow or shallow breathing, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, and seizures.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Since galantamine may cause loss of appetite and weight loss, your doctor should monitor your weight before and during treatment with this medication.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

 

Brands

Also marketed as

Reminyl [ Johnson & Johnson ]

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