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Memantine and donepezil

Generic Name: memantine and donepezil (MEM-an-teen & doe-NEP-e-zil)
Brand Name: Namzaric

Memantine and donepezil is used for:

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

Memantine and donepezil is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist and cholinesterase inhibitor combination. The NMDA-receptor antagonist works by blocking excess activity of a substance in the brain called glutamate, which may reduce the symptoms associated with Alzheimer disease. The cholinesterase inhibitor works by increasing the amount of a certain substance (acetylcholine) in the brain, which may help reduce the symptoms of dementia in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Do NOT use memantine and donepezil if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in memantine and donepezil or to another piperidine derivative

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

Before using memantine and donepezil:

Some medical conditions may interact with memantine and donepezil. 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 a history of heart problems (eg, fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat), stomach or bowel problems (eg, ulcer, blockage), lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), or seizures
  • if you have liver problems; trouble swallowing; bladder, urinary, or kidney problems (eg, trouble urinating); or a condition that raises your urine pH balance (eg, urinary tract infection)

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

  • Aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) because the risk of stomach or bowel bleeding may be increased
  • Amantadine, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, acetazolamide), cholinergic agents (eg, bethanechol), cholinesterase inhibitors (eg, galantamine), dextromethorphan, ketamine, ketoconazole, quinidine, or sodium bicarbonate because they may increase the risk of memantine and donepezil's side effects
  • Carbamazepine, dexamethasone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin because they may decrease memantine and donepezil's effectiveness
  • Anticholinergics (eg, scopolamine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by memantine and donepezil

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if memantine and donepezil 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 and donepezil:

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

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with memantine and donepezil. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take memantine and donepezil by mouth in the evening right before bed, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Take memantine and donepezil by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow memantine and donepezil whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and sprinkle the contents on applesauce. Mix the medicine with the applesauce and swallow the mixture right away, followed by a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the medicine before swallowing. Do not store the mixture for future use.
  • Do not take any capsules that are damaged.
  • Take memantine and donepezil on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • Taking memantine and donepezil at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Continue to take memantine and donepezil even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of memantine and donepezil, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

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

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take memantine and donepezil before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, change your dose, or stop taking memantine and donepezil without checking with your doctor.
  • Memantine and donepezil is not a cure for Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer disease will get worse over time in all patients who have it.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using memantine and donepezil while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use memantine and donepezil, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of memantine and donepezil:

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:

Diarrhea; dizziness; headache; loss of appetite; muscle cramps; nausea; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting.

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); bloody or black, tarry stools; decreased, difficult, or painful urination; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; heartburn or stomach pain; new or worsening breathing problems (eg, shortness of breath); seizures; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; slow or irregular heartbeat; unusual bruising; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds.

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 and donepezil:

Store memantine and donepezil at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Store in the original container or other light-resistant container. Keep memantine and donepezil out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about memantine and donepezil, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Memantine and donepezil 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 and donepezil 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 and donepezil. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to memantine and donepezil. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using memantine and donepezil.

Review Date: November 3, 2016

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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