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Galantamine Side Effects

galantamine side effects

What is galantamine?

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 Alzheimer's type dementia. Galantamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Galantamine is used to treat mild to moderate confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer's disease. It does not cure Alzheimer's disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to perform daily functions. This medication works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Galantamine Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with galantamine include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • decreased appetite
  • weight loss

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency.

Important Information

Galantamine may cause a serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome or a more general skin rash with bumps. You should stop taking the drug right away and call your doctor at the first sign of a rash. This drug may cause a slow heart rate and fainting. This happens more often in people with heart problems. Call your doctor right away if you have a slow heart rate or fainting. Tell your doctor if you have a history of asthma or other lung diseases. Galantamine may make these conditions worse, so it needs to be used with caution.

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