In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for memantine, trade name NamendaTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Memantine is used to help treat confusion and dementia associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s happens when nerve cells in the brain die. Nerves get tangled and messages slow or stop.

Medications for Alzheimer’s disease focus on two main areas. The first type of medication increases the level of chemicals that send messages in the brain. The second type of medication slows the nerve death.

Neither of these two treatments cures Alzheimer’s. They may help improve memory, awareness, and possibly make it easier to do daily chores.

Memantine works to block a chemical in the brain. This may help slow the progression of nerve damage.

Memantine is usually started at a low dose, once daily, with or without food. Over a couple of months, your doctor may increase your dose and how often you take it. Your dose depends on your response to the medication.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Warnings & Cautions

  • People who take memantine may experience some constipation, body aches, dizziness, headaches, or excessive tiredness. If these, or any other side effects persist, call your pharmacist or doctor to discuss it with them.
  • Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking memantine.
  • Memantine should only be used during pregnancy when needed. If you are taking memantine and think you might be pregnant, tell your doctor. It is unknown if memantine crosses into breast milk. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before breastfeeding if you are taking this medication.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if memantine is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any liver of kidney disease, history or urinary tract disease, or any recent significant dietary changes.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20