Memantine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: memantine (MEM-an-teen)
Brand Name: Namenda

Memantine is used for:

Treating moderate to severe Alzheimer-type dementia. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Memantine is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist. It works by blocking excess activity of a substance in the brain called glutamate, which may reduce the symptoms associated with Alzheimer disease. Memantine is not a cure for Alzheimer disease.

Do NOT use memantine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in memantine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Before using memantine:

Some medical conditions may interact with memantine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems, or if you have a history of bladder or kidney problems, seizures, trouble urinating, or a condition that raises your urine pH balance (eg, urinary tract infection)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with memantine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amantadine, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide), dextromethorphan, ketamine, or sodium bicarbonate because they may increase the risk of memantine's effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if memantine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use memantine:

Use memantine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with memantine. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take memantine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Use memantine as directed on the packaging unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of memantine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. If you miss several doses of memantine, check with your doctor before you take another dose.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use memantine.

Important safety information:

  • Memantine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use memantine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Memantine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using memantine while you are pregnant. It is not known if memantine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use memantine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of memantine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; dizziness; headache.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; fainting; hallucinations; inability to control urination; new or worsening mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, aggressiveness, anxiety, depression); one-sided weakness; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent tiredness or weakness; shortness of breath; speech changes; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of memantine:

Store memantine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep memantine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about memantine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Memantine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take memantine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about memantine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to memantine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using memantine.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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