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July 14, 1978


Author Affiliations

Helsinki University Central Hospital Helsinki
Oulu University Central Hospital Oulu, Finland

JAMA. 1978;240(2):108. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290020030003

To the Editor.—  We were delighted to read that Baraka and Harik (238:2293, 1977) found that galanthamine hydrobromide was able to reverse the central anticholinergic syndrome in volunteers. This confirms the finding here in the clinical situation that this drug is an effective antidote in a case of scopolamine intoxication.1 The effect of galanthamine hydrobromide on the disruption of behavior provoked by central anticholinergics had been reported from the Soviet Union in 1969.2Baraka and Harik quote evidence that galanthamine hydrobromide produces substantial EEG effects, but in our experience the drug, administered to normal3 and epileptic4 volunteers, only gave slight to mild changes in the EEG pattern. The duration of the change following an intravenous dose of 20 mg was up to 30 minutes.Galanthamine, like edrophonium, is a reversible type of anticholinesterase.5 Unfortunately, it is not available generally except in Eastern Europe. The long duration