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Generic name: memantinemeh-MAN-teen ]
Brand names: Namenda, Namenda XR
Drug class: Miscellaneous central nervous system agents

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Jul 10, 2024.

What is Namenda?

Namenda reduces the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Namenda is used to treat moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type.

Namenda may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Before using Namenda, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have a seizure disorder, cataracts, liver or kidney disease, or a bladder or kidney infection.

Namenda 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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Namenda if you are allergic to memantine.

To make sure Namenda is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Namenda 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 Namenda?

Take Namenda exactly as it was prescribed for you. 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.

Namenda 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 Namenda 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 Namenda.

Store Namenda 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.

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 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 to avoid

Namenda 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.

Namenda side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Namenda: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common Namenda 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.

What other drugs will affect Namenda?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

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.

Popular FAQ

Namenda mechanism of action is reducing the activity of a brain chemical called glutamate to help Alzheimer's symptoms. Excessive glutamate can damage nerve cells. Namenda works by blocking certain receptors (NMDA receptors) that glutamate binds to, helping to protect the brain cells. However, it does not prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Continue reading

Common side effects of Namenda include dizziness, headache, confusion, and constipation. However, many side effects reported during clinical studies were similar in frequency to those reported for the placebo group. Continue reading

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Namenda only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.