A benzazepine derived from norbelladine. It is found in galanthus and other amaryllidaceae. Galantamine is a cholinesterase inhibitor that has been used to reverse the muscular effects of gallamine triethiodide and tubocurarine, and has been studied as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other central nervous system disorders.
Humans and other mammals
For the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Has also been investigated in patients with mild cognitive impairment who did not meet the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease.
Galantamine is a parasympathomimetic, specifically, a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. It is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type. An early pathophysiological feature of Alzheimer's disease that is associated with memory loss and cognitive deficits is a deficiency of acetylcholine as a result of selective loss of cholinergic neurons in the cerebral cortex, nucleus basalis, and hippocampus. Galantamine is postulated to exert its therapeutic effect by enhancing cholinergic function. This is accomplished by increasing the concentration of acetylcholine through reversible inhibition of its hydrolysis by acetylcholinesterase. If this proposed mechanism of action is correct, Galantamine's effect may lessen as the disease progresses and fewer cholinergic neurons remain functionally intact. There is no evidence that Galantamine alters the course of the underlying dementing process.
Mechanism of action
Galantamine is a phenanthrene alkaloid and a reversible, competitive acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It is not structurally related to other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Galantamine's proposed mechanism of action involves the reversible inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, which prevents the hydrolysis of acetycholine, leading to an increased concentration of acetylcholine at cholinergic synapses. Galantamine also binds allosterically with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and may possibly potentiate the action of agonists (such as acetylcholine) at these receptors.
Route of administration
Central Nervous System Agents
Chemical Actions and Uses
Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 Substrates
Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A4 Substrates
Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
QTc-Prolonging Agents (Indeterminate Risk and Risk Modifying)
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison
T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682