The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University

What is Galantamine

Galantamine is a drug used for treatment of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and is currently marketed in the US (under the trade name Reminyl) by Janssen Pharmaceutica and Ortho-McNeil. Galantamine is extracted from daffodil bulbs.

Galantamine Side Effects

Galantamine works to increase the level of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which is important for learning and memory; one feature of AD is a reduction in brain levels of acetylcholine. Like the other currently-available AD drugs, tacrine (trade name Cognex), donepezil (trade name Aricept), and rivastigmine (trade name Exelon), galantamine is a cholinesterase inhibitor, meaning that it acts to inhibit the enzymes which break down unused acetylcholine; the result is that existing acetylcholine survives longer and is more effective. Additionally, galantamine may work to stimulate the release of new acetylcholine in the brain.



by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain