What Is Galantamine?
Galantamine is a drug that prevents the breakdown of Acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain. Specifically, it prevents an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase from acting on Acetylcholine. The result is that the amount of Acetylcholine in the brain increases. This increase, however, is temporary.
Neurotransmitters like Acetylcholine are the chemicals that convey signals between neurons in the brain. Increasing the concentration of a neurotransmitter can, therefore, affect the way the brain functions. In the case of Acetylcholine, there are a number of know effects resulting from such an increase in concentration. Galantamine is an effective way of producing these effects for a limited time.
Galantamine is present in many plants, including the Snowdrop plant, certain lilies, and certain tulips, and has been harvested from those sources. A synthetic process for creating the drug also exists. As recently as 2009, a representative of Alzheim, a company in the United Kingdom that grows daffodils for the extraction of Galantamine, noted that, “The world market price per kilo of Galantamine is roughly the same as gold. As a product and a pharmaceutical ingredient, its value comes firstly from its effectiveness and also from how difficult it is to produce.”
Galantamine has a long history. The ancient Greeks are believed to have known of Galantamine’s memory-enhancing properties. In his Odyssey, Homer included a story in which Circe, a goddess, turned Odysseus’s crewmembers into pigs. Odysseus cured them with a potion he brewed with a flower; some literary analysts believe the flower was the Snowdrop, and that the potion would have contained Galantamine.
In the 1950s, Russian scientists began to research the effects of Galantamine, after observing Bulgarian folk remedies that involved the Snowdrop flower. The drug was investigated for use in spinal cord disorders and other neurological conditions. Although the mechanism of the drug was not yet understood, its effects in patients were observable. By 1958, Galantamine had been released commercially as a drug in Bulgaria. That commercial drug, called Nivalin, continues to be sold to this day.
Over the ensuing years, Galantamine was tested as a treatment for many medical conditions. In 1957, it was tested on muscular dystrophy patients. In the early 1960s, it was tested as a therapy for male impotence and for bedwetting in children, among other applications. There may still be undiscovered applications for the drug, but medical researchers have discovered one critical application for it.
Today, Galantamine is used medically to treat dementia that results from Alzheimer’s disease. There are approximately five million in the United States alone, and the degenerative diseases are very challenging for both patients and their loved ones. Victims of Alzheimer’s have a shortage of Acetylcholine, which can be treated by Galantamine. The shortage causes dementia, with symptoms including loss of memory and impaired reasoning. Researchers began using the drug to fight dementia in the 1980s.
The drug may be useful for a number of other medical conditions. Some individuals who suffer from non-Alzheimer’s dementia and cognitive problems like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) use Galantamine to improve their memory and focus. The drug might also help with certain forms of mental illness, such as Schizophrenia. There is also some evidence that Galantamine could help smokers quit the habit. Some have suggested that it could be a treatment for autism in adults.
Galantamine is used recreationally by individuals seeking to increase the frequency of lucid dreams. A lucid dream is one in which the dreamer is aware of being in a dream, and consequently, control the dream’s events to some extent. Those who seek to increase the frequency of lucid dreams commonly report that the dreams are a form of escapist recreation and a way of rehearsing solutions to real-life problems. There is a large online community of lucid dreaming enthusiasts.
In tests, Alzheimer’s patients given Galantamine have demonstrated an improvement in their memory and language comprehension skills, while control group members have demonstrated the decline that comes with their degenerative disease. Galantamine treats symptoms of dementia but does not halt the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. It is simply a way to improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. That improvement can be significant, though, and can meaningfully extend the period of normal mental functioning for victims of Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2001, Dr. Jane Hecker of the Daw Park Repatriation Hospital explained that “Clinical trials have shown that for many patients Galantamine provides benefits in memory, attention, decision-making abilities and overall function for at least one year. The research shows that it improves the ability of sufferers to perform daily activities.” When you look over Galantamine review opinions, you get a real-time look into the minds of your users, and can see exactly what the nootropic does from brain to brain!
Galantamine is just one of several drugs prescribed to Alzheimer’s patients for the treatment of dementia. Others include Donepezil and Rivastigmine. Galantamine helps victims maintain mental abilities longer than they otherwise could. The trade name of the Galantamine medication for Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. is Razadyne.
Lucid dreamers claim that Galantamine helps them achieve lucidity by (1) lengthening the period of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep during which dreams occur, (2) greatly increasing one’s ability to remember dreams after waking, and (3) improving the chances of becoming lucid while in the dream state.
Since at least as early as 2004, the founder of the Lucidity Institute, Stephen LaBerge, has promoted Galantamine and other inhibitors of cholinesterase as tools to achieve lucid dreaming. According to studies by LaBerge and others, users are nearly six times as likely to become lucid when dreaming if they use Galantamine, at an 8 mg dose.
Lucid dreamers who use Galantamine typically buy it as a nutritional supplement. It is sold as a single supplement and in pills that combine Galantamine with other drugs that are believed to aid in lucid dreaming.
Scientists have probably not yet discovered all of the useful applications of Galantamine, and research is ongoing. As a result, the drug likely has benefits of which we are not yet aware. Over the coming years, it could become a critical treatment for conditions other than Alzheimer’s.
Patients using Galantamine to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms usually begin with a dose of 8 mg per day, taken either in two tablet doses of 4 mg each or as a single, extended-release capsule. After a few weeks, the dose may be doubled (to 16 mg per day) or even tripled (to 24 mg per day). Patients are generally advised not to exceed 24 mg per day. Patients with liver or kidney problems are generally advised to take no more than 16 mg per day.
As soon as a patient stops using Galantamine, the positive effects of the drug cease. An Alzheimer’s disease patient who stops taking Galantamine, therefore, might notice a sharp decline in memory and mental functioning. If a patient later wants to go onto the drug, it is recommended that the patient once again start with a dose of 8 mg per day, and progress up to a full dose.
Individuals using Galantamine to promote lucid dreaming usually take a dose of only 4 mg, with some opting for a dose of 8 mg. Lucid dreamers who take 8 mg doses should slowly ramp up to this dosage, just as medical patients do. Timing is also important. Lucid dreamers wake themselves in the middle of the night to take their Galantamine dose so that the drug will extend REM sleep, which occurs later in the sleep cycle.
To minimize the side effects of Galantamine, most lucid dreamers do not take the drug on an ongoing, long-term basis. Instead, they will use it occasionally, or for only a few days at a time. Those who use Galantamine for lucid dreaming should consider lowering their dosage to the minimal level that still produces a useful effect. Doing so will minimize the risk of negative side effects.
Experiments on animals suggest that an overdose of Galantamine could cause the same effects as overdoses of other anticholinesterase medications. Because these drugs increase the quantity of Acetylcholine in the brain, they can lead to excessive activity by that neurotransmitter. Any excessive activity could result in excessive muscle activity, such as seizures, rapid breathing, and muscle twitches. In the worst case, an overdose could lead to death.
As with any drug, Galantamine presents a risk of allergic or other adverse reaction. Because it acts directly on the brain, its use requires caution. It is advisable for any patient to consult a doctor before using Galantamine. If you are using other drugs, regardless of whether they are prescription or over-the-counter, you should consult a doctor about possible interactions. My personal Galantamine review is that it is largely devoid of side effects, and is a great nootropic drug.
The most common side effects of Galantamine use are gastrointestinal problems like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. These problems can be treated with over-the-counter drugs in most cases. Some users also report dizziness and weight loss. For Alzheimer’s patients, the benefits of Galantamine will outweigh the cost of these particular side effects in the vast majority of cases.
Severe skin reaction is another possible complication of the drug. Doctors recommend that patients who experience rashes immediately stop taking the drug.
In the early 2000s, researchers found that Galantamine patients had an increased incidence of the slowing of the heart rate (bradycardia). The drug has also been found to contribute to fainting in some patients. Individuals with heart conditions, or with family histories of heart conditions, should be cautious and seek medical advice before using the drug. It should be noted, though, that there is some evidence that Galantamine might actually reduce the risk of heart attack; further research is needed.
One possible complication of Galantamine is in patients with kidney problems. Because the drug is processed in the kidneys, patients with severe kidney problems will generally be advised not to use it, or to use it in reduced quantities.
Another possible complication is in patients with liver problems. In such patients, doctors recommended a reduced dosage of the drug.
Galantamine has additional negative side effects for lucid dreamers, but these side effects are hindrances to the pursuit of lucid dreams rather than true physical side effects: (1) Galantamine can disrupt sleep and (2) it can increase the likelihood of sleep paralysis.
If lucid dreamers take the drug before going to bed at night, they might have trouble falling asleep, and might consequently fail to achieve the deep sleep necessary for lucid dreams. Many drugs used by lucid dreamers present this same dilemma; Huperzine, for example, is used by some lucid dreamers but can contribute to insomnia. It is common for dreamers to set an alarm clock for the middle of the night, so they can rise and take a drug like Galantamine before returning to sleep. If they can fall back to sleep, they will often enter REM sleep soon and then enjoy an enhanced ability to achieve lucidity.
Sleep paralysis occurs when the body is in a state of muscle paralysis (to accommodate sleep and dreaming), but the mind is still conscious. To make matters worse, sleep paralysis often involves vivid hallucinations, both visual and auditory. It has been suggested that some historical stories of demons (especially the succubus and incubus) resulted from incidents of sleep paralysis. Today, some people understandably find the experience of sleep paralysis disturbing and unpleasant. In certain lucid dreamers, Galantamine reportedly contributes to these unpleasant incidents.
Although Galantamine might be the most popular drug for lucid dreaming, it is obviously not without flaws. For most lucid dreamers, though, the benefits of Galantamine will outweigh the negative side effects. By timing their intake of the drug, lucid dreamers can avoid or minimize the sleep disruption effects.
Like any drug, Galantamine has side effects. Despite these negatives, though, Galantamine is a very useful drug. It is one of only a few drugs that can mitigate the effects of dementia in Alzheimer’s patients, it shows promise for a number of other medical conditions, and it is popular among lucid dreamers in nutritional supplement form.
In the years to come, researchers may discover additional applications for the drug. If medical researchers develop a more comprehensive understanding of how Galantamine works, they may be able to apply it in new and useful ways. They might also make progress in understanding the health risks and side effects of Galantamine. Our Galantamine customer review logs are generally 100% positive, and reflect amazing lucid dreams, and great nootropic effects!