Generic Name: memantine (meh MAN teen)
Brand Name: Namenda, Namenda XR
What is memantine?
Memantine reduces the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Memantine is used to treat moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type.
Memantine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about memantine?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking memantine?
You should not use memantine if you are allergic to it.
To make sure memantine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
urination problems; or
a bladder or kidney infection.
This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether memantine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take memantine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Memantine can be taken with or without food.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.
To make swallowing easier, you may open the extended-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.
Measure liquid medicine (oral solution) with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not mix the oral solution with any other liquids.
Rinse the empty oral syringe with clean water and allow it to air dry after every use.
Use memantine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Your doctor will need to check your progress while you are using memantine.
Store memantine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the liquid medicine bottle tightly closed with the cap provided. Do not store the bottle with the oral syringe in it.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you miss doses or forget to take your medicine for several days, call your doctor before starting the medicine again.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking memantine?
Memantine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
Memantine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;
seizure (convulsions); or
unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Memantine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Alzheimer's Disease:
Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day, then titrated upwards by 5 mg per week
Maintenance dose: 5 mg once a day up to 10 mg twice a day
Maximum dose: 20 mg per day
Initial dose: 7 mg orally once a day, then titrated upwards by 7 mg per week
Maintenance dose: 7 mg once a day up to 28 mg once a day
Maximum dose: 28 mg orally once a day
Approved indication: For use in the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type.
What other drugs will affect memantine?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
cough medicine that contains dextromethorphan (Delsym, Robitussin Maximum Strength, Vicks 44, and others);
medicines to make the urine alkaline--urine sodium bicarbonate, potassium citrate (K-Lyte, Urocit-K), sodium citrate and citric acid (Bicitra, Oracit), or sodium citrate and potassium (Citrolith, Polycitra); or
medicine to treat glaucoma or increased pressure inside the eyes--acetazolamide, methazolamide.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with memantine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about memantine
- Memantine extended-release capsules
- Memantine solution
- Memantine tablets
- Memantine (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about memantine.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
Last reviewed: February 11, 2015
Date modified: January 10, 2017