GENERIC NAME: memantine
BRAND NAME: Namenda, Namenda XR
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes.
USES: Memantine is used for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia associated with Alzheimer's. Dementia can be categorized into three levels of severity: mild in which patients are alert and sociable, but forgetfulness begins to interfere with daily living, moderate which often is the longest stage of the disease with deterioration of intellect, logic, behavior, and function, and severe, in which there is loss of long-term memory and language skills. Patients with severe Alzheimer's may require 24-hour care and can no longer complete basic self-care tasks including washing, eating, and using the bathroom.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of memantine are:
- Increases in blood pressure
- Back pain
- Sleepiness (somnolence)
- Difficulty breathing
Memantine may cause a serious skin reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Other potential serious side effects include:
- Acute renal failure
- Cerebral infarction
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Deep venous thrombosis
- Hepatitis, liver failure
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke)
Quick GuideDementia Pictures Slideshow: Disorders of the Brain
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.