Evaluation of the effects of galantamine on cardiac function in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease
Year of Publication 2010
Background: Galantamine, a cholinesterase inhibitor, is used as a first-line drug in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, it may have vagotonic effects, which may cause bradycardia and/or heart block in patients with or without a history of cardiac disease.; Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of galantamine on electrophysiology and arterial blood pressure in elderly patients with AD.; Methods: From March 2008 through August 2009, consecutive patients ≥65 years of age were approached for enrollment and underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Patients with newly diagnosed AD who were enrolled in the study were treated with galantamine extended-release capsules using a 2- to 4-week titration schedule. The starting dosage was 8 mg once daily. After 2 to 4 weeks on the initial dosage, the dosage was increased to 16 mg once daily. After another 2 to 4 weeks, if galantamine was still well tolerated, the dosage was increased to 24 mg once daily. ECG parameters and blood pressure were recorded at baseline and at each galantamine dose level (8, 16, and 24 mg/d); blood pressure was measured once daily. The study lasted -4 months after baseline assessment.; Results: Sixty-four patients with newly diagnosed AD were enrolled in the study, 51 of whom completed the study (28 women and 23 men; mean age, 78.5 years). No significant changes relative to baseline occurred in any of the ECG parameters or arterial blood pressure at any of the investigated dosages of galantamine.; Conclusion: None of the dosages of galantamine investigated in this study significantly altered ECG parameters or arterial blood pressure (relative to baseline) in these elderly patients with AD.; Copyright © 2010 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc. Published by EM Inc USA.. All rights reserved.