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New Name, New Formulation for Alzheimer’s Drug

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June 1, 2005

Starting in May 2005, the Alzheimer’s drug galantamine, formerly sold under the brand name Reminyl, will be marketed under the brand name Razadyne. The name change was prompted to avoid confusion at the pharmacy counter after it was discovered that the old name, Reminyl, was sometimes confused with another drug prescribed for diabetes.

Razadyne (formerly Reminyl), prescribed for the treatment of early to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, will be exactly the same as the former drug. It is taken twice a day and carries the same precautions and guidelines. See “What Drugs are Approved for Alzheimer’s Disease?” for a fact sheet.

In addition, Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, the company that makes the drug, has made a new formulation of the drug called Razadyne-ER. Razadyne-ER, or extended-release Razadyne, is released into the body more slowly and is taken once a day, rather than twice a day. In studies, the most frequent adverse events with Razadyne-ER were similar to those seen with Razadyne. The most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Typically, these side effects are mild and temporary.

The manufacturer also states that Razadyne may not be for everyone. Some people experience a slowed heart rate, which may lead to fainting. Serious stomach problems can occur in people taking pain-relieving medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or those at risk for stomach ulcers.

By www.ALZinfo.org, The Alzheimer’s Information Site. Reviewed by William J. Netzer, Ph.D., Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University.

Source: For more information, see Razadyne’s manufacturer’s Web site.

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