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All about: Galantamine

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Generic name: Galantamine
Brand names: Reminyl

Why is Galantamine prescribed?

Reminyl can delay or even reverse mental decline in some patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. It is thought to work by boosting levels of the chemical messenger acetylcholine in the brain. (In Alzheimer's disease, the cells that produce acetylcholine slowly deteriorate.)

Reminyl is a temporary remedy. It doesn't work for everyone, and it doesn't halt the underlying disease.

Most important fact about Galantamine

Reminyl therapy starts at a low dose and increases over several months. It is important to wait 4 weeks between dosage adjustments. If treatment with Reminyl is interrupted for several days or longer, the patient will need to start over again at the lowest dose, increasing the dose at 4-week intervals until the former dose is achieved.

How should you take Galantamine?

Reminyl should be taken twice a day, preferably with the morning and evening meals. The drug is available in tablet form and as an oral solution. If you are using the solution, draw the required amount into the measuring pipette that comes with the bottle, then empty the pipette into 3 to 4 ounces of a non-alcoholic beverage. Stir well and administer immediately.

--If you miss a dose...

Give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Both the tablets and the oral solution may be stored at room temperature. Do not freeze the solution.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue giving Reminyl.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal pain, anemia, blood in urine, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, inability to sleep, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, runny nose, sleepiness, tremor, urinary tract infection, vomiting, weight loss

Why should Galantamine not be prescribed?

Reminyl cannot be used if it gives the patient an allergic reaction. This drug is not recommended for patients with severe liver disease or kidney disease.

Special warnings about Galantamine

Use Reminyl with caution if the patient has severe asthma, obstructive lung disease, or a history of stomach ulcers.

Reminyl can slow the heart rate and cause fainting episodes. Be especially cautious if the patient has a heart irregularity.

Before surgery, make sure the doctor knows about the use of Reminyl.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Galantamine

If Reminyl is taken with certain other drugs, the effect of either may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Reminyl with the following:

Certain Parkinson's drugs such as Artane and Cogentin
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, PCE)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Meclizine (Antivert)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Voltaren
Paroxetine (Paxil)
Urinary tract medications such as Urispas and Urecholine.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Reminyl is not usually prescribed for women of childbearing age. It should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the risk to the developing baby. Reminyl should not be used by nursing mothers.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The recommended starting dose of Reminyl is 4 milligrams twice a day. Four weeks later, the dose should be increased to 8 milligrams twice a day. After waiting an additional four weeks, the doctor may increase the dose to 12 milligrams twice a day if necessary.

For patients with mild to moderate liver problems and kidney problems, dosage should not exceed 16 milligrams per day.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. A massive overdose of Reminyl could prove fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Reminyl overdose may include:
    Convulsions, drooling, fainting, incontinence, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, severe nauseam, slow or irregular heartbeat, stomach cramps, sweating, teary eyes, twitching, weak breathing, vomiting

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