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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2015 Aug;122(8):1157-66. doi: 10.1007/s00702-014-1358-0. Epub 2014 Dec 30.

Efficacy and safety of galantamine treatment for patients with Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Department of Pharmacy, Zhu Jiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510282, People's Republic of China.


Cholinesterase inhibitors treatment is considered as a common therapeutic approach for Alzheimer's disease (AD) by numerous reported studies, but the role of currently available drugs for AD is still controversial. Our study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of galantamine for the treatment of AD, and provide the basis and reference for clinical rational drug use. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of galantamine for AD published up to April 30, 2014 were searched. A random or fixed-effect model was used to analyze outcomes which were expressed as risk ratios (RRs) or mean difference (MD) with a 95 % confidence interval (CI). Heterogeneity was assessed by Q test and I(2) statistic. The outcome measurements were as follows: the changes of Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Clinicians' Interview-Based Impression of Change with Caregiver's Input (CIBIC+), adverse effects and dropouts. Eleven articles with 4,074 participants were included. Administration of galantamine for 8-28 weeks (16-40 mg daily) led to significant improvements in ADAS-cog score [P < 0.00001, MD = -2.95, 95 % CI (-3.32, -2.57)], MMSE score [P = 0.003, MD = 2.50, 95 % CI (0.86, 4.15)], NPI score [P = 0.001, MD = -1.58, 95 % CI (-2.54, -0.62)], and CIBIC+ scale [P < 0.00001, RR = 1.26, 95 % CI (1.15, 1.39)], but not in ADL score [P = 0.43, MD = 0.71, 95 % CI (-1.07, 2.48)]. More adverse events and dropouts occurred in the galantamine group than that in the placebo group, the differences were statistically significant (all P < 0.05). Galantamine could significantly improve cognitive, behavioral, and global performances in patients with AD. In addition, we need to use it with caution in the clinical treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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