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Galantamine, one of the acethylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEI), is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. However AChEI have been associated with adverse events, including cardiac events. The objective of this prospective, observational study is to evaluate the association between galantamine and incident cardiac conduction abnormalities.
A total of 64 patients, who visited an out – patient clinic of a geriatric department were enrolled in the study. All patients were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and started with a capsule containing 8 mg of galantamine. Subsequently, if galantamine was well tolerated, the dosage was raised every 4 weeks, to an eventual dosage of 24 mg/ day. The mean follow – up period was 4 months. ECG parameters were evaluated at baseline and after start of galantamine at each galantamine dose level (8, 16, 24 mg / day).
No significant differences in electrocardiographic measurements before and during treatment with galantamine were found.
No significant changes in ECG parameters relative to baseline were found with galantamine treatment. Also after adjustment for concomitant cardioactive medications and cardiovascular comorbidity, no significant changes were found.
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Masuda Y, Kawamura. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (Donepezil Hydrochloride) reduces heart rate variability. Journal of cardiovascular pharmacology. 41 (suppl.1): S67-S71
Leentjens AF, Kragten JA. Complete atrioventricular block during galantamine therapy. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2006;150 (10):563–6 PubMed
Birks J. Cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease. Cochrane database syst. Rev. 2006;(1): CD005593 PubMed
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