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Effects of galantamine in Alzheimer’s disease: double-blind withdrawal studies evaluating sustained versus interrupted treatment


Gaudig, M., Richarz, U., Han, J., Van Baelen, B., Schäuble, B.


Current Alzheimer Research, Volume: 8, No.: 7, Pages.: 771-780

Year of Publication



To evaluate the effects of galantamine withdrawal, and compare this with uninterrupted therapy, two 6-week double-blind withdrawal studies (Studies 1 and 2) were performed. These enrolled individuals who had completed one of two 3- or 5-month randomized clinical trials (parent trials) involving patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In Study 1 (GAL-USA-11; n’723), patients continuously treated with galantamine 16 mg/day exhibited a mean (± standard error [SE]) improvement in 11-item cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale score of 1.8 (± 0.46) points at Week 6 compared with the parent trial baseline, (p < 0.001 vs placebo; observed cases analysis). Over the same period, patients switched from galantamine to placebo and those who had received continuous placebo, exhibited mean (± SE) deteriorations of 0.7 (± 0.49) and 1.2 (± 0.49) points, respectively. Similar trends were apparent in Study 2 (GAL-USA-5; n=118). In Study 1, subgroup analyses demonstrated cognitive benefits with continuing galantamine treatment and deterioration associated with galantamine withdrawal in patients with advanced moderate AD (baseline Mini-Mental State Examination score ≤14) and in individuals deemed non-responsive in terms of Clinician's Interview-Based Impression of Change-plus Caregiver Input (CIBIC-plus) evaluation at the end of the parent trial (CIBIC-plus score > 4). No safety issues were identified. In patients with mild to moderate AD who have exhibited cognitive benefits from up to 5 months’ galantamine treatment, continuing therapy reinforces previously achieved benefit, whereas in patients in whom galantamine is discontinued, although no safety concerns arise, the natural progression of AD is apparent.;


administration & dosage, aged, alzheimer disease, cholinesterase inhibitors, drug therapy, female, galantamine, humans, male, treatment outcome

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Anti-Alzheimer medications, e.g.: donezepil, galantamine, rivastigmine, memantime