Thursday, January 05, 2006

Galantamine - Facts and Hysteria

I want to clarify a few things.

First off, when I recently wrote about galantamine in (paranthesis) after the drug Tacrine it was to associate them as being nearly identical in action - they are both cholinesterase inhibitors. Some people understood this as if I were trying to say they were the same substance. They are not, however their action is nearly identical.

Writing to a wide audience and trying to keep my comments brief can lead to misunderstandings.

Secondly, somebody posted to an internet forum 9 months ago using language that was more headline grabbing than informative. Based on the number of people that have asked me about this, I wanted to set out the facts.

The FDA in March of 05 (over 9 months ago) looked into reports about Reminyl, the prescription form of galantamine. They asked that the label be revised. There were no warnings, no recalls, and no hysteria.

Read the actual FDA releases here and here.

Here are the facts:

"In a number of earlier clinical trials, none of which lasted longer than 6 months, in similarly-aged patients (including patients with Alzheimer’s Disease), the incidence of deaths in those treated with Reminyl was no higher than in patients treated with placebo, and the incidence of deaths in those treated with placebo was far higher than in the trials of mild cognitive impairment, described above."

As I have posted before, the internet is great to communicate information, but it also is the source of all kinds of crazy misinformation.