Galantamine or galanthamine is an alkaloid used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory related conditions.
It is derived either synthetically or from the bulbs and flowers of certain types of Caucasian snowdrops, snowflakes, daffodils and lycoris, the red spider lily.
Other brand names include: Nivalin, Razadyne, Razadyne ER, Reminyl, and Lycoremine.
Galantamine was first developed in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s by two Soviet pharmacologists.
Sopharma of Bulgaria began the first industrial process in 1959 where Nivalin (galantamine hydrobromide) was extracted from a snowdrop species known locally for its medicinal properties.
Acetylcholine itself being one of the many neurotransmitters found in the central nervous system.
The absorption of galantamine is rapid, with a peak ACh inhibition within 1 hour, whilst the half-life is about 7 hours.
Side effects can include gastrointestinal symptoms and insomnia.
Galantamine and lucid dreaming
Galantamine is probably the best known dream-enhancing supplement used in the lucid dream community where it has developed a cult status where even Thomas Yuschak has an exclusive chapter on the subject in his book ‘Advanced Lucid Dreaming – The Power of Supplements.’
Stephen LaBerge has a patent application (US20040266659) which relates to lucid dreaming, dream recall and the use of memory enhancing drugs which includes the class known as acetylcholine esterase inhibitors, namely Donepizil, Rivastigmin, Galantamine and Huperzine.
I present this as a guide only. It is not intended to be seen as an endorsement.
Galantamine is usually taken orally where it is supplied in 4 or 8 mg tablet form, although it is usually combined with chlorine (like choline bitartrate) as a precursor is needed for galantamine to work more effectively.
The supplement is best taken after 4 or 5 hours of sleep when a person’s R.E.M. periods are longer, therefore increasing the likelihood of a vivid or lucid-type dream, along with better recall of the event.
I should point out that any person who considers taking supplements for the first time should thoroughly research the topic and/or seek medical advice where necessary.
Tell your doctor if you are using any other drugs, medicines or herbal products which could interact with galantamine, especially if they are chlorogenic or antichlorogenic, SSRI anti-depressants, heart drugs such as beta-blockers and NSAIDs including aspirin.
It is advisable the lucid dream student does not to take galantamine too frequently. Galantamine itself takes approximately up to 48 hours to leave the body.
It is strongly recommended not to take it on two consecutive nights.
Yuschak recommends a period of between 4 days in between individual dosage, although he recommends the use of the Nootropic piracetam to counter the desensitization of acetylcholine receptors in the brain from the galantamine immediately after having a lucid dream.
I personally have no experience in using piracetam in this instance so I cannot comment further on this.
I have found a 4/200 mg galantamine/choline combination useful where I have experienced a lot more transition and false awakening episodes, although I have found the dream control using galantamine difficult at times.