Galantamine: new preparation. The fourth cholinesterase inhibitor for Alzheimer's disease.Prescrire Int. 2001 Dec; 10(56):180-1.PI
(1) The reference symptomatic treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease is a cholinesterase inhibitor such as donepezil, but efficacy is only moderate and only about 10% of those patients treated actually benefit. (2) Galantamine is the fourth cholinesterase inhibitor to be marketed in France for Alzheimer's disease. The clinical file contains data from five double-blind placebo-controlled trials lasting 3-6 months, but no data comparing galantamine with other drugs. (3) These trials show that about 5-13% of patients treated with galantamine may be improved. (4) Adverse effects are very frequent, and are similar to those of other cholinesterase inhibitors, i.e. nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, etc. (5) For patients who are eligible for drug therapy, the reference treatment is still donepezil, for want of anything better.