Compare Aricept vs. galantamine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.



Treats Alzheimer's disease. Aricept (donepezil) works for all stages of Alzheimer's, and most forms of it are available in generic.Treats Alzheimer's disease. Razadyne (galantamine) is a first choice medicine to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, but not everyone responds to it.
Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Aricept
of people (All ages) say Aricept is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Aricept (donepezil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Razadyne (galantamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Muscle cramps 4%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Loss of appetite 1%
  • Headache 1%
  • Pain, various locations 1%
  • Dizziness 2%
More Aricept side effects »
  • Nausea 15%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • Loss of appetite 5%
  • Weight loss 3%
  • Depression 2%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
More galantamine side effects »
How it works
Aricept (donepezil) is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Researchers don't know exactly how it helps treat Alzheimer's disease, but it prevents acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain, from being broken down too quickly. Acetylcholine is important in transmitting signals through nerves.Razadyne (galantamine) raises the amount of acetylcholine in the brain, which is lower in people with Alzheimer's.
Type of medication
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
  • Liquid
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • History of ulcer disease
  • Taking high doses of Aricept (donepezil)
  • Weighing less than 55 kg (110 lbs)
Detailed Aricept (donepezil) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
Detailed Razadyne (galantamine) risks & warnings »

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

No food related info.
  • Take Razadyne (galantamine) with food so you don’t get an upset stomach.
  • Aricept (donepezil) can cause weight loss, especially if you're taking higher doses. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • Aricept (donepezil) can be used to treat dementia caused by all stages of Alzheimer's.
  • It can be effective for treating behavioral problems related to dementia.
  • Available as a dissolving pill if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Available as generic.
  • Razadyne (galantamine) comes in different forms, including liquid, pills, and extended release capsules.
  • Razadyne (galantamine) is available as generic.
Downsides and risks
  • Like other drugs for Alzheimer's dementia, it does not cure Alzheimer's, but may help with brain function and doing daily activities.
  • Aricept (donepezil) is not a good choice for people with heart problems or a slow heart rate. It can slow the heart rate down and cause dizziness or fainting.
  • The higher the dose of Aricept (donepezil), the more likely you can experience nausea and vomiting.
  • If you miss doses of Razadyne (galantamine) for more than 3 days, you have to talk to your doctor since you might have to start taking it over again from the original smallest dose.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Take Aricept (donepezil) in the evening or before going to bed. Can be taken with or without food.
  • Aricept (donepezil) can cause ulcers and gut bleeding, especially those who also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
  • If you're taking the orally disintegrating tablet (ODT), place it on your tongue and let it dissolve, then drink a full cup of water.
  • The oral tablet shouldn’t be split, crushed, or chewed.
  • If you miss a dose, skip it and take the next dose at your regular time. If you've missed seven doses in a row, you'll need to call your doctor about restarting the medication properly again.
  • Take Razadyne (galantamine) exactly how your doctor or pharmacist tells you. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's time for your next dose. Don't take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Drink plenty of fluids since Razadyne (galantamine) can dry you out.
  • Take Razadyne (galantamine) with food so you don’t get an upset stomach.
  • Store the liquid form of Razadyne (galantamine) in your pantry, away from light. Don't leave it in the refrigerator or freezer, or in your bathroom's medicine cabinet.
  • Razadyne (galantamine) will slow down Alzheimer's disease; it will not stop or cure it.
Learn more
More about AriceptSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Aricept (donepezil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about galantamineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Razadyne (galantamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it