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Drugs reference index «Memantine»



Brand names: Namenda

Why is Memantine prescribed?

Namenda is a new kind of medication used for treating moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. While other Alzheimer's drugs work to prevent the breakdown of the brain chemical acetylcholine, Namenda works by targeting glutamate. Both chemicals are associated with memory and learning. Studies show that Namenda can help improve the mental state and daily functioning of some people with Alzheimer's disease.

Most important fact about Memantine

Remember that Namenda does not cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease; it merely treats the symptoms.

How should you take Memantine?

Namenda is available in tablet and oral solution forms. It should be taken exactly as prescribed. The dose of Namenda is increased gradually at 1-week intervals. Be sure to wait at least 1 week before increasing the dose. Using doses that are higher than recommended provides no additional benefit. Namenda may be taken with or without food.

  • If you miss a dose...Give the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.
  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Namenda.

  • Side effects may include:Confusion, constipation, coughing, dizziness, hallucinations, headache, high blood pressure, pain, sleepiness, vomiting

Why should Memantine not be prescribed?

People who have ever had an allergic reaction to Namenda should not take Memantine.

Special warnings about Memantine

Namenda is not recommended for use in patients who have severe kidney impairment.

Certain conditions can alter the alkaline balance of the urine, which may cause a buildup of Namenda in the body. Be sure to tell the doctor about any major dietary changes, kidney problems such as renal acidosis, or urinary tract infections.

Make sure the doctor knows about any history of seizures. Namenda has not been formally studied in people with seizure disorders.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Memantine

If Namenda is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with the doctor before combining Namenda with the following:

AmantadineCimetadineCough suppressants that contain dextromethorphan (usually denoted as "DM")Glaucoma drugs such as acetazolamide and methazolamideHydrochlorothiazideKetamineNicotineQuinidineRanitidineSodium bicarbonate (baking soda)Triamterene

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Namenda is not usually prescribed for women of childbearing age. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. It should be used in pregnant women only if the potential benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the fetus.

It is not known whether Namenda appears in human breast milk. If Memantine is essential to your health, the doctor may advise you to stop nursing until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Memantine


The recommended dosage is 10 milligrams twice a day. The doctor will start treatment at 5 milligrams once a day for 7 days, and gradually increase the dose by 5 milligrams every 7 days, up to a maximum total daily dose of 20 milligrams.

If Namenda causes side effects, the doctor may wait more than 1 week to increase the dose. People who have impaired kidney function may require lower doses.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency treatment immediately.

  • Symptoms of overdose may include:Loss of consciousness, hallucinations, psychosis, restlessness, sleepiness, stupor
  • Memantine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • memantine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Namenda Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Namenda Consumer Overview

See Also...

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