Galantamine is a naturally occurring substance famous for its beneficial effects. As a powerful acetylcholine inhibitor it is used in the treatment of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory impairment.
Galantamine also has the ability to boost cognitive performance. It improves one’s ability to think and remember, and promotes knowledge retention.
Galantamine has been in use by humans for thousands of years. The first recorded case of people using it is in Homer’s Odyssey. The herb that the god Hermes gives to Odysseus to help him become immune to the drugs used by the sorceress Circe is very well described and it resembles the snowdrop plant, Galanthus Nivalis. This is a herb used for the extraction of galantamine.
The drugs used by the sorceress Circe were designed to cause memory loss and delirium. Since galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, it is the perfect antidote for anticholinergic drugs. Hermes, apparently, knew his stuff.
Galanthus is is a very powerful alkaloid that can be isolated from the flowers and bulbs of herbs in the Amaryllidaceae family (Caucasian and Voronov’s snowdrop, daffodil, snowflake and red spider lily).
The most popular brand names for this alkaloid are Lycoremine, Reminyl, Nivalin, Razadyne ER and Razadyne. It is a prescription drug that you can get in any drug store. In some countries, it is labeled as an over-the-counter drug. The vendors are supplying it in several different forms – oral solution, once-a-day extended-release capsules and twice-a-day tablets.
Its medical properties became the focus of modern medicine in the 1950s and the first studies of galantamine were conducted by the scientists in the Soviet Union. After extracting galantamine from the herbs, scientists discovered it’s acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting properties.
After entering the industrial process, galantamine was prescribed for many conditions. Some of them were motor and sensory dysfunction as the consequence of a disorder of the central nervous system, muscular dystrophy, myopathy, myasthenia, Alzheimer’s disease, memory impairment and dementia.
Galantamine Benefits and Effects
Let’s see what the science has to say about the benefits of galantamine.
Enhanced Cognitive Performance
While there are no studies on a healthy population, there is an abundance of studies on subjects with Alzheimer’s Disease. In a study that lasted for 5 months, almost 1000 patients were administered this drug.
The dose of galantamine started with 8 mg per day and escalated to 24 mg per day. The study confirmed that galantamine doses of 16 mg and 24 mg per day bear the best results. Study participants experienced improvements in cognitive, functional and behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. During this study the scientists came to a conclusion that slow dose escalation minimizes the risk of adverse events and the occurrence of side effects.
Galantamine has been in use by humans for thousands of years. The first recorded case of people using it is in Homer’s Odyssey
Another team of researchers came to the same conclusion in a separate study. In this one, the participants, who experienced mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms, were on the galantamine supplementation for 6 months. The galantamine doses escalated to 24 and 32 mg per day toward the end of the study. The results were assessed with the AD Assessment Scale cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog/11), Clinician’s Interview-Based Impression of Change plus Caregiver Input (CIBIC-plus), and Disability Assessment for Dementia (DAD) scale.
Galantamine was labeled as a safe and effective treatment drug for AD. The patients had experienced improvements in cognitive performance, as well as in global functioning.
In study on old rats, scientists tried and were able to successfully connect the dots between glutamine supplementation, concentration, the ability to learn and long-term potentiation in the hippocampus nerve synapses. If you didn’t know, long-term potentiation stands for synaptic strength after intensive stimulation. In other words, it shows for how long we can perform one task efficiently without any effect on our ability to stay focused and concentrated.
After administering galantamine, the researchers discovered that it benefited the long-term potentiation in the animals. In fact, it was significantly extended. They also discovered that galantamine increases the number of nicotinic receptors in the neocortex and hippocampus. Furthermore, scientists have proven that the durability of long-term potentiation is positively correlated with the number of nicotinic receptors in the hippocampus.
There is no extensive scientific evidence that proves that galantamine is a universal memory booster. There are few studies that prove such properties in specific circumstances. Here is one example of such studies, where scientists examined the effects of galantamine in rats with memory deficits in adult life caused by early postnatal maternal deprivation.
Around 30 minutes before training adult rats with memory impairment, the researchers orally administered the galantamine (dose 1 mg per kg). They discovered that increased acetylcholinesterase activity had decreased after the administration of the drug and that it had reversed the memory impairments caused by the maternal deprivation.
This study is important for two reasons: it proved that maternal deprivation changes brain cholinergic systems, thus causing memory impairments, and it proved that galantamine has the ability to reverse this effect.
How Galantamine Works
In the world of medicine galantamine is an oral drug commonly used in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. It belongs to the family of cholinesterase inhibiting drugs. Other drugs in this family are Rivastigmine (Exelon), Donepezil (Aricept) and Racrine (Cognex).
As a cholinesterase inhibitor, galantamine’s primary role is to block the action of acetylcholinesterase. This is an enzyme that breaks acetylcholine down, thus affecting our cognitive performance, memory, and, in some instances, behaviour as well.
This is because acetylcholine is one of the essential neurotransmitters in the brain. A consistent concentration of it in the nerve synapses enables the nerve cells to communicate. However, when acetylcholinesterase is active, it destroys acetylcholine molecules, causing a range of symptoms, the majority of which correspond to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Since galantamine blocks this enzyme, the acetylcholine concentration in nerve synapses increases, which improves our overall brain function, including thinking, memory, concentration, etc.
For those of you who know a bit of chemistry, galantamine’s chemical structure makes it a potent molecule for targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in specific areas of the brain (hippocampus and neocortex). When it binds with the these receptors it makes them more reactive to acetylcholine. This causes cholinergic neurons to release greater amounts of acetylcholine.
When it comes to absorption, galantamine is very rapidly absorbed when taken orally. Our bodies are able to absorb anywhere from 80% to 100% of ingested galantamine. This drug’s full potential is achieved one hour after a single oral dose. It is advised to take it with food, because food delays the rate at which our body absorbs it. Galantamine has a 7 hour long half-life.
Before you start your galantamine supplementation you want to make sure that it is safe for you. It is advised to consult a doctor before you start taking galantamine, especially if you’ve experienced any of the following:
· Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
· Asthma, or a history of asthma
· Urination problems
· Kidney disease
· Earth rhythm disorder
· Heart disease
· A history of stomach ulcer or bleeding
· Epilepsy or seizures
· Liver disease
You should also check your previous medical history to make sure that you are not allergic to galantamine.
As we have previously stated, galantamine comes in several forms. A tablet, long-acting capsule or liquid solution. It is advised to take the liquid solution and tablets twice a day, along with your morning and evening meals. If you purchase a long-acting capsule, you should take it in the morning.
It is important to read the drug label carefully and to follow the basic advice given here and take all the necessary precautions. If you take galantamine exactly as instructed, you shouldn’t have any problems. To combat the most common side effects, make sure to drink a lot of water every day for as long as you are on this supplement.
When you first start using galantamine you should opt for the lowest dose. It is advised to start with a 4 mg dose twice a day for at least a couple of weeks. Then you should up your dose to 8 mg twice per day and continue the supplementation for a few weeks to reach the maximum of 12 mg twice per day.
If you decide to take extended release capsules, you should know that the minimal recommended dose is 8 mg once per day, while the maximum recommended dose is 24 mg once per day. In both cases, you should take your dose with a morning meal.
You should be very careful should you decide to stack galantamine. Drugs that have the opposite effects should be avoided if you are on galantamine supplementation or therapy. Commonly prescribed drugs with anticholinergic properties are trihexyphenidyl (Artane), atropine and benztropine (Cogentin).
Since almost 80% of galantamine is metabolised in our liver, it is advised to avoid taking it with medications that reduce the activity of our liver enzymes. This is very important, because normal levels of liver enzymes will break down galantamine faster and reduce the chances of experiencing any of the side effects. Commonly prescribed drugs that reduce activity of liver enzymes are paroxetine (Paxil), ketoconazole (Extina, Kuric, Nizoral and Xolegel).
It is important to inform your doctor about your galantamine supplementation before you undergo any surgical procedure, because galantamine may enhance the neuromuscular blocking effect of drugs that are used before, during and after surgical interventions.
To enhance its effects you can stack galantamine with choline. This is a very popular stack in the brain hacker community, because choline and galantamine create a very powerful synergy. As a precursor of acetylcholine, choline promotes its synthesis in our bodies and makes sure that our body has all it needs to create this essential neurotransmitter.
At the same time galantamine acts as acetylcholine’s bodyguard, preventing enzymes from breaking it down. With steady levels of acetylcholine in our body, our brain can continue working at optimal levels. As a consequence we experience increased cognitive performance, learning ability, improved attention, and improved brain health
If you decide to stack these two, make sure to start with the lower dose and work your way up. Experts recommend that you start with 4 mg of galantamine and 200 mg of choline per day. If you goal is to improve your focus, attention and learning ability, it is advised to split your daily dose in two halfs and take them in the morning and early evening.
Only one hour after taking galantamine you will be able to feel its kick. You will be more productive and efficient in tasks that require cognitive engagement. Some users report experiencing their mind fog being lifted after taking galantamine, allowing them to maintain clear focus over longer periods of time.
People with Alzheimer’s Disease are continuously reporting the beneficial effects of galantamine. They are able to think more clearly and become better at remembering things. They also report an improvement in their everyday life..
Galantamine Side Effects
The list of side effects of galantamine is quite an extensive one, and includes the following symptoms:
· Weight loss
· Upset stomach
· Generalized discomfort
· Slow heartbeat
These adverse effects are in relation with high doses of galantamine. If you want to be on the safe side of things, make sure to follow the label and don’t go over the recommended daily dose. In any case, if you experience any of the side effects, make sure to check with your doctor as soon as possible.
Where to Buy Galantamine
If you decide to try galantamine and experience its benefits firsthand, make sure to purchase it from a reliable vendor. Make sure to get your hands on a high quality product. Only reliable and renowned vendors are capable of providing such a product.
Additionally, make sure that the vendor has tested the quality of their product and that it is pure. Before you reach your final decision, look for social proof on the vendors official website and check the opinion of their customers.
Galantamine is a naturally occuring nootropic. It has been used in medicine for centuries because of its properties. It can help with memory impairment and a short attention span and it was used as a prescription drug for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease for over a decade. It’s acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting properties, very little and easily preventable adverse effects, and powerful benefits are the things that make it so popular in the brain hacker community.