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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Galantamine

Why is this medication prescribed?

Galantamine is used for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Galantamine is in a class of medications called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It works by increasing the amount of a certain natural substance in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?

Galantamine comes as a tablet and an oral solution to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day, preferably with the morning and evening meals. 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.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of galantamine and gradually increase your dose. Do not stop taking galantamine without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking galantamine for a few days or longer, you must start taking it again at the lowest dose and gradually increase it to the dose you have 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:

  • Open the child-proof cap by pushing the cap down while turning it to the left. Remove the cap.
  • Pull the pipette (the tube that you use to measure the dose of galantamine) out of its case.
  • Place the pipette fully into the bottle of galantamine.
  • While holding the bottom ring of the pipette, pull the pipette plunger up to the marking that shows the dose your doctor prescribed.
  • Hold the bottom ring of the pipette and remove the pipette from the bottle. Be careful not to push the plunger in.
  • Prepare 3-4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) of any non-alcoholic drink. Empty all the medicine from the pipette into the drink by pushing the plunger all the way in.
  • Stir the drink well.
  • Drink all of the mixture right away.
  • Put the plastic cap back on the bottle of galantamine and turn the cap to the right to close the bottle.
  • Rinse the empty pipette by putting its open end into a glass of water, pulling the plunger out, and pushing the plunger in to remove the water.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking galantamine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to galantamine or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticholinergic medications such as anisotropine (Valpin 50), atropine (Atropisol, Isopto Atropine), benztropine (Cogentin), clidinium and chlordiazepoxide (Clindex, Librax), dicyclomine (Bentyl), glycopyrrolate (Robinul), hyoscyamine (Levbid, Levsin), hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine combinations (Barbidonna, Donnatal, Kapectolin PG, Relaxadon), ipratropium (Atroven), ipratropium and albuterol (Combivent), oxybutynin (Ditropan), procyclidine (Kemadrin), propantheline (Pro-Banthine), scopolamine (Isopto Hyoscine, Scopace, Transderm-Scop), tolterodine (Detrol), and trihexyphenidyl (Artane, Trihexy); antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and paroxetine (Paxil); aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); bethanechol (Urecholine); cimetidine (Tagamet); heart medications; ketoconazole (Nizoral); and quinidine (Quinidex). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma; an enlarged prostate; ulcers; or heart, kidney, liver, or lung disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking galantamine, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking galantamine.
  • you should know that galantamine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

To decrease the chance of upset stomach, make sure to drink six to eight glasses of water every day while taking galantamine.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Galantamine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • extreme tiredness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • tremor
  • stomach pain
  • depression
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • runny nose

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • difficulty urinating
  • blood in the urine
  • pain or burning while urinating
  • seizures
  • fainting
  • black and tarry stools
  • vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds

Galantamine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

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, and protect the bottle from light. 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 emergency/overdose

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.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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