Precautions and Warnings With Galantamine
There are many precautions and warnings with galantamine to be aware of before starting Alzheimer's treatment. The medication may have effects on the heart, increase stomach acid production, and cause seizures in some people. To help minimize these risks, you should tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions you have and all other medications you are taking before using galantamine.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking galantamine hydrobromide (Razadyne®) if you have:
- Heart problems
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Stomach or intestinal ulcers (or a history of such problems)
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
- Bladder problems
- Mild cognitive impairment not caused by Alzheimer's disease
- Epilepsy or seizures
- An upcoming surgery
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Galantamine warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking the medicine include the following:
- Two studies of galantamine in people with mild cognitive impairment (not Alzheimer's disease) suggested that galantamine may increase the risk of death. Deaths were due to a variety of causes with no definite pattern. Other studies have failed to confirm such findings. Be sure to discuss this possible risk with your healthcare provider if you take galantamine for mild cognitive impairment. Galantamine is not approved for treating mild cognitive impairment.
- Galantamine may affect the heart, possibly causing a dangerously slow heart rate. This is probably more common in people with heart conditions but can occur in people without any heart problems.
- Galantamine may increase the production of stomach acid, increasing the risk of stomach or intestinal ulcers. If you have an ulcer (or a history of an ulcer), your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure galantamine is not making these problems worse.
- The liver and kidneys help to clear galantamine from the body. If you have liver or kidney disease, your body may not handle galantamine as well as normal, and a lower galantamine dosage may be recommended.
- Galantamine can cause impair the ability of the bladder to empty, causing difficulty urinating. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any bladder problems while taking galantamine.
- It is possible that galantamine could cause seizures or make seizures worse. However, Alzheimer's disease itself may also cause seizures.
- Stopping galantamine (or decreasing the dose) suddenly can lead to a worsening of Alzheimer's symptoms.
- Galantamine may cause a worsening of asthma symptoms. Check with your healthcare provider before taking galantamine if you have asthma.
- If you have a surgery planned, make sure to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you are taking galantamine, as galantamine can interact with some medications used during anesthesia.
- Galantamine can potentially interact with several medications (see Drug Interactions With Galantamine).
- Galantamine is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Razadyne and Pregnancy).
- It is not known whether galantamine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Razadyne and Breastfeeding).