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Galantamine is used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD; a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and the ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities). Galantamine is in a class of medications called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It works by increasing the amount of a certain natural substance in the brain that is needed for memory and thought. Galantamine may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities in people who have AD. However, galantamine will not cure AD or prevent the loss of mental abilities at some time in the future.
Galantamine comes as a tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) capsule, and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. The tablets and liquid are usually taken twice a day, preferably with the morning and evening meals. The extended-release capsules are usually taken once a day in the morning. Take galantamine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take galantamine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. You are less likely to experience side effects of galantamine if you follow the exact dosing schedule prescribed by your doctor.
Galantamine may upset your stomach, especially at the beginning of your treatment. Take galantamine with food and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. This may decrease the chance that you will have an upset stomach during your treatment.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of galantamine and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every 4 weeks.
Continue to take galantamine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking galantamine without talking to your doctor. If you do stop taking galantamine for a few days or longer, call your doctor before you start to take galantamine again. Your doctor will probably tell you to start with the lowest dose of galantamine and gradually increase your dose to the dose you had been taking.
Before you take galantamine oral solution for the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you how to take the oral solution. To take the oral solution, follow these steps:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking galantamine,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Galantamine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
Galantamine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not freeze. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Reviewed - 02/01/2009
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2010. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
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|Page last updated: 21 January 2010|