Observations placeholder

Galantamine

Identifier

005288

Type of Spiritual Experience

Dream
Hallucination

Number of hallucinations: 10

Background

Galantamine is an alkaloid that is obtained synthetically or from the bulbs and flowers of Galanthus Caucasicus (Caucasian snowdrop, Voronov’s snowdrop), Galanthus woronowii (Amaryllidaceae) and related genera like Narcissus (daffodil)), Leucojum (snowflake) and Lycoris including Lycoris radiata (Red Spider Lily)

Galantamine in it various forms is used clinically for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and various other memory impairments, particularly those of vascular origin. It has been used for decades in Eastern Europe and the USSR for various indications such as treatment of myasthenia, myopathy, and sensory and motor dysfunction associated with disorders of the central nervous system. Its uses have included symptomatic treatment of Polio.

But it is a ligand of the acetylcholine receptor and thus has the ability at the correct doses to induce relaxation and also promote lucid dreaming. Galantamine is a competitive and reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. It reduces the action of AChE and therefore tends to increase the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain.

Studies of usage in modern medicine began in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The active ingredient was extracted, identified and studied, particularly in relation to its acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibiting properties. The bulk of the work was carried out by Soviet pharmacologists Mashkovsky and Kruglikova-Lvova, beginning in 1951. The first industrial process was developed in Bulgaria by prof. Paskov in 1959 from a species traditionally used as a popular medicine in Eastern Europe

Absorption of galantamine is rapid and complete. It is well absorbed with absolute oral bioavailability between 80 and 100%. It has a half-life of seven hours. Peak effect of inhibiting acetylcholinesterase was achieved about one hour after a single oral dose of 8 mg in some healthy volunteers. 

A description of the experience

OVERDOSE LEVELS

At overdose levels and with frequent [everyday] use, according to the eHealthme website, Galantamine has produced 10 hallucinations in those with Alzheimers and Dementia

At overdose levels it can also cause nightmares

Galantamine-associated nightmares and anxiety - Corbo JM Brown JN, Moss JM; Department of Medical Education, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center St. Margaret, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15215, USA. jason.corbo@gmail.com

BACKGROUND:  This case report describes recurrent nightmares and anxiety possibly caused by the administration and rapid dose titration of galantamine.

CASE SUMMARY:  A 90-year-old male with Alzheimer's disease was initiated on galantamine 4 mg twice daily for 10 days, followed by 8 mg twice daily thereafter. On followup to the geriatric clinic, the patient reported complaints of nightmares and associated anxiety. The occurrences of nightmares developed after initiating galantamine and temporally increased with galantamine titration. After discontinuation of galantamine, the patient reported no further occurrences of nightmares or anxiety and memory function remained stable.

CONCLUSION:  Galantamine-associated nightmares are an uncommon adverse event and may have been exacerbated by rapid titration. Although such adverse events are unlikely to cause harm in the patient, such sleep abnormalities have the potential to decrease a patient's quality of life and may require the need for alternative therapy.

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AT NON OVERDOSE AND LOW FREQUENCY USE

Some people who practice lucid dream (LD) or out-of-body experience (OBE) use galantamine to increase their odds to achieve LD or OBE.  By taking small amounts of galantamine (around 4 to 8 mg) after five to six hours of deep sleep coupled with relaxation techniques……………many people report more success with galantamine.

There are reports that taking galantamine without proper induction technique will not lead to LD or OBE but will result in only a vivid dream instead. Overdose leads to nightmares. It should also be noted that due to a long half life galantamine will stay in the body for a period of up to and over 48 hours, as such it is advisable to only use the product very infrequrntly both to ensure efficacy and so that the body does not build a resistance to the drug ruining its effectiveness. If frequent use and overdose occur then withdrawal will have very unpleasant results.

 “Galantamine is a natural substance that greatly increases the likelihood of experiencing a lucid dream [LaBerge, 2003; Yuschak 2006]. Galantamine has two primary modes of action: inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (the substance the breaks down acetylcholine) and modulation of the nicotinic cholinergic receptors to increase the release of acetylcholine [Woodruff-Pak, Vogel, & Wenk, 2001]. Galantamine has been shown to reduce REM latency and increase REM density [Riemann, Gann, Dressing, Muller, & Aldenhoff, 1994] as well as having a positive affect on memory [Koontz, Baskys, 2005]. The time required for galantamine to reach peak plasma concentrations is within one hour of ingestion.  One of the primary criteria in determining whether or not galantamine is effective at inducing a lucid dream is determined by the efficiency with which the subject enters into REM sleep after taking the dose. The odds are significantly increased if the subject enters the REM sleep phase directly from the waking state. If a typical sleep cycle proceeds however, in which the subject first passes through the deeper sleep stages, the odds of lucidity are reduced. Due to this characteristic, galantamine is usually taken after first sleeping for some period of time such that the body is already tending to naturally enter longer REM periods [Yuschak, 2006]. The normal sleep cycle favors the deeper sleep stages in the first part of the night but as morning approaches the deeper sleep stages become less dominating. Although this trend increases the odds that galantamine will cause a person to directly enter REM sleep from the waking state, provided it is ingested after 4 or 5 hours of normal sleep, there is still a reasonable chance that one will enter the deeper sleep stages for some period of time before REM is initiated and this can lead to inconsistent results for lucid dreaming.” 

The source of the experience

PubMed

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

Lucid dreaming

References

  • Mashkovsky MD, Kruglikova-Lvova RP. On the pharmacology of the new alkaloid galantamine. Farmakologia Toxicologia (Moscow) 1951;14:27-30 (in Russian).
  • Heinrich, M.; Teoh, H.L. (2004). "Galanthamine from snowdrop – the development of a modern drug against Alzheimer's disease from local Caucasian knowledge". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 92. PMID 15137996. 
  • Scott, LJ; Goa, KL (2000). "Galantamine: a review of its use in Alzheimer's disease.". Drugs 60. PMID11129124. 
  • Woodruff-Pak, DS; Vogel Rw, 3rd; Wenk, GL (2001). "Galantamine: effect on nicotinic receptor binding, acetylcholinesterase inhibition, and learning." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98 (4):
  • Birks, J; Birks, Jacqueline (2006). "Cholinesterase inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease.". Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (1): CD005593 PMID 16437532. 
  • Thomas Yuschak (2006). Advanced Lucid Dreaming (1st ed.).