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January 24, 2021

Galantamine is a 4 mg tablet prescription used for the treatment of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive illness that slowly affects thinking and memory. This medicine improves the awareness of the patient on their surroundings, ability to think and remember, and ability to perform daily activities.

Many chemical changes take place in the brain if you have Alzheimer’s disease. One of the earliest and biggest changes is that there is less of a chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical helps the brain to function well. Galantamine slows its breakdown so it can have a greater effect.

How does Galantamine work?

Galantamine is a type of medicine called an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that slows the breakdown of a neurotransmitter in the body called acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are stored in nerve cells in the brain and nervous system. These are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. They are needed for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. The acetylcholine in the brain is constantly being released by nerve cells and is being stopped by acetylcholinesterase which is another natural chemical.

This drug increases the level of acetylcholine in the brain by preventing the action of acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholinesterase is the compound that normally reduces the breakdown of acetylcholine that is released from the remaining intact nerve cells in the brain. Galantamine also develops the activity of acetylcholine in the brain. The overall result of these two actions is an improvement in the levels and activity of acetylcholine in the brain. This develops the reasoning processes of memory, learning, and thinking. This also improves the daily functioning and symptoms of dementia in Alzheimer’s disease.

How is Galantamine taken?

Galantamine is taken by mouth usually twice a day. It is best taken in the morning and evening with food or as directed by your doctor. While taking the medicine, drink plenty of fluids. Your dose is based on your medical condition. It is not recommended for you to take more than the maximum dose of 24 mg per day. Your dose will be slowly increased to your target dose to lower your risk of side effects. Do not stop taking or increase the dose of Galantamine unless it is given by your doctor. Carefully follow all the instructions given. If your condition does not improve, contact your doctor right away and tell them about your condition.

What are the side effects of Galantamine?

Various side effects do not need any medical care and disappear as your body is adjusting to the medicine. If these side effects persevere or if you’re troubled about them, consult your doctor.

  • Sleepiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucination
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Slow heart rate
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Abdominal pain

This might not be the complete list of side effects. If there are other side effects occur, inform your doctor right away.

What are the precautions in using Galantamine?

  • Kidney and Liver impairment: This medicine should be carefully used in patients with kidney diseases because of an increased risk of worsening the condition of the patient. Close monitoring and proper dose adjustments may be needed in some cases based on the clinical condition.
  • Operating machinery or driving: Use of this medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or visual disturbances. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not perform any activities that need high mental alertness during treatment with this medicine.
  • Skin reactions: This medicine may cause serious skin reactions including skin rashes in some patients. In such cases, treatment should be discontinued. Replacement with an appropriate substitute might be needed based on the clinical condition.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding: This medicine should also be used with carefulness due to an increase in the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. This risk is especially higher in patients with a history of gastrointestinal disorders. If you have any uncommon symptoms such as heartburn or blood in the stool, report it to the doctor straight away.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women and breastfeeding unless required. The risks and benefits must be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Allergy: This medicine is not suggested for use if you have an allergy to it or any other active ingredients present accompanied by the drug.

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