What is Galantamine? Health Benefits and Side Effects


Galantamine (also spelled Galanthamine) is an alkaloid that can be obtained synthetically, or extracted from the bulbs and flowers of the Caucasian snowdrop (Galanthus caucasicus), Daffodil (Narcissus), Voronov’s snowdrop (Galanthus woronowii) and red spider lily (Lycoris Radiata). In the US it is known by its brand name – Razadyne.

The compound belongs to a group of medications called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

Study reports show that its effect is tied to the increase of neurotransmitters in the brain. Therefore, Galantamine can improve concentration, memory, and general awareness. 

This medication has been used throughout Eastern Europe and Russia as a remedy for sensory and motor dysfunction linked with central nervous system disorders for decades.

At Body Fat Genius we are about to share with you the modern uses of Galantamine, along with its health benefits and side effects!

Read on,

Medical Uses of Galantamine

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

Placebo-controlled studies and double-blind tests have shown that treatment with Galantamine leads to small improvements in selected patients with mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease.

The medication is a reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase and enhances the action of acetylcholine on nicotinic receptors, which leads to a cholinergic neurotransmission increase in the brain. It is believed that Galantamine can slow the loss of mental functions in patients. This medication improves the quality of life for individuals with AD and eases the lives of their caregivers. Galantamine is officially approved by the FDA for treating Alzheimer’s Disease. 

It is crucial to understand that while the compound has positive effects on the organism it will not cure AD or prevent the deterioration of mental abilities at some point in the future.

Other Uses of Galantamine

In addition to its effects in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Galantamine extracts are researched for potential treatment of multiple conditions.

However, much of the study is in the early stages of progress, and it is hard to conclude of relative efficacy and safety for patients.

1. May Treat Diabetes

One of the theories suggests that the compound may have anti-diabetic effects by changing the insulin signaling pathways.

A study performed with mice reported that Galantamine reduces high levels of blood sugar, immune cell activity in the pancreas, and decreases anti-insulin antibodies production in mice with Type-1 Diabetes.

2. May Treat Obesity

Other studies show that when the medication was administered to mice with high fat diet-induced obesity, it decreased insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, lowered inflammation and significantly reduced body weight.

This finding is to be backed up with studies in humans. Only then it can be concluded whether or not Galantamine has an effect on obesity.

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3. May Ease Symptoms of Autism

Study cases in children with Autism suggest that Galantamine may treat or at least alleviate some of the symptoms of this disorder.

One research shows that giving the medication alongside Risperidone (an antipsychotic medication) to children with Autism leads to improvements in symptoms of the disorder, such as lethargy, irritability, and social withdrawal. 

4. May Provoke Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming means to be conscious during your dream. You recognize your thoughts and feelings as the dream happens. You are able to control it and change the environment, storyline, and people in it. It is proven that lucid dreams can reduce nightmares and anxiety. When taken in the prescribed dose, Galantamine may induce lucid dreaming and therefore improve the sleep quality of a patient.

5. May Help Treat Schizophrenia

According to one recent study, the compound may potentially block the damaging effects of kynurenic acid, which have been associated with some of the common cognitive disorders typical of schizophrenia.

Another theory suggests that the medication can change the AMPA-mediated signaling pathway, which could improve the mental function in schizophrenics. 

6. May Reduce Inflammation

Galantamine has shown efficiency in the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. It shields the organism from exposure to systemic inflammation. This pathway is activated by α-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which explains Galantamine’s positive effect on the issue.

7. May Act as an Antioxidant

Oxidative stress is one of the main reasons for general health problems in the human body. It is reported to be relevant to many serious health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Diabetes and even Cancer.

Another study shows that the use of Galantamine as an antioxidant can potentially protect cells from oxidative stress.

Learn more: How Antioxidants Help Post-Workout Muscle Recovery 

8. May Shield Against Toxins

Studies performed on animals found that the medication may possess significant anti-toxic effects. However, this is still to be explored and followed up by studies in humans.

For example, one experiment showed that Galantamine protected the organism of rats from toxicity when they were poisoned with diisopropylfluorophosphate.

Want to detox your body? Try these: 5 Best Detox Supplements For Weight Loss

9. May Relieve Arthritis Symptoms

Another medical use for Galantamine is to suppress arthritic inflammation. Experiments were performed in rats with low testosterone. The presence of dopamine in the spleen during the treatment with the medication was a sign of its protective function in under androgen-deficient conditions.

10. May Help with Quitting Smoking

According to a preliminary placebo-controlled study, alcoholics who took Galantamine on a daily basis reported consuming significantly fewer cigarettes a day compared to similar patients who only took a placebo.

Galantamine Side-Effects

Even though Galantamine is FDA-approved for medical treatment, it needs to be taken with precaution, so that it doesn’t do more harm than good. “Dosage makes the poison!”. Scientific evidence supports that the medication is safe if used as prescribed, and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Like any other drug, Galantamine can cause potential side-effect manifestations and it is important to know what to expect when taking it. If any of the following symptoms occur while you are being treated with this medication, contact your doctor immediately! 

Here are some of the common side-effects of Galantamine:

  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart problems
  • Skin rash
  • Urinary issues
  • Anxiety and nightmares (when taken in high dosage)

It is crucial to know that Galantamine’s interactions with some drugs may cause health problems. It is advised to stop taking it if you are on other medications that are metabolized through the same liver pathway. 

Fortunately, most of the listed above side-effects manifest rarely and can probably be avoided with proper dosing. The dose of this medicine varies for different patients. Make sure to strictly follow your doctor’s orders or the directions indicated on the label!


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