Generic Name: galantamine (ga LAN ta meen)Brand Names: Razadyne, Razadyne ER
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.
Before taking galantamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have urination problems, heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, stomach ulcers or bleeding, a seizure disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, or asthma.Stop using galantamine and call your doctor at once if you have chest pain, slow heart rate, blood in your stools, coughing up blood, decreased urination, weakness, confusion, extreme thirst, or hot, dry skin.
There are many other medicines 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.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking galantamine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.If you have stopped taking galantamine for any reason, talk with your doctor before you start taking it again. You may need to restart the medication at a lower dose. 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.
Before taking galantamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
heart disease or a heart rhythm disorder;
a history of stomach ulcer or bleeding;
seizures or epilepsy;
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.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Galantamine is usually taken once or twice a day with a meal. You may also take the medication without food. Follow your doctor's instructions.Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Take the capsule or tablet with a full glass of water. Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water each day to keep from getting dehydrated while taking galantamine.
The liquid form of this medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Measure the liquid using only the special dose-measuring device provided. Empty the medicine into 3 to 4 ounces of any non-alcoholic beverage. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. Rinse the dose-measuring device with water after each use.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking galantamine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.If you have stopped taking galantamine for any reason, talk with your doctor before you start taking it again. You may need to restart the medication at a lower dose. Store galantamine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.
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.
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).
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
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.
Before taking galantamine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
atropine (Donnatal, and others);
hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others);
paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva);
propantheline (Pro-Banthine); or
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.