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Galantamine is used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease (a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and the ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities).

How it works

Galantamine belongs to class of medicines called acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors. It acts on the brain by improving the function of nerve cells in the brain, thereby relieving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Common side effects

Nausea, Pale colored skin, Depression, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Difficulty in urination, Fatigue, Headache, Heartburn, Stomach pain, Insomnia, Loss of appetite, Running nose, Vomiting, Weight loss


Expert advice

  • Consult your doctor if you have any heart disorder, electrolyte disturbances, peptic (stomach) ulcer disease, acute abdominal pain, a disorder of the nervous system (like fits or Parkinson’s disease), asthma, pneumonia, difficulties passing urine, or if you had an operation on the gut or bladder.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as galantamine may cause drowsiness.
  • Do not consume alcohol while taking galantamine as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Galantamine should be used with caution in elderly as they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is galantamine safe?
Galantamine is a safe and effective drug if used according to the prescribed dosage for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia in Alzheimer’s disease.
Q. Is galantamine a psychotropic drug?
Galantamine is a psychotropic drug used in the treatment of dementia associated with alzheimer’s disease.
Q. Is galantamine the same as Aricept?
Galantamine and Aricept (donepezil) are not the same. They however belong to the same class of drugs called ‘cholinesterase inhibitors’ used in the treatment of dementia associated with alzheimer’s disease.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)