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What is this medication?

Memantine, Namenda
N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Antagonist

Brand Name US: Namenda
Canadian Equivalent: Ebixa

Memantine, Namenda is indicated for the management of Alzheimer’s Disease.

How does this medication work?

Memantine, Namenda blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type of glutamate receptors preventing excitotoxicity and neuronal cell death.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral (Immediate Release): Take 5mg once daily, and increase by 5mg every week as tolerated to a target maximum dose of 20mg once daily.
Oral (Extended Release): Take 7mg once daily, and increase by 5mg every week as tolerated to a target maximum dose of 28mg once daily.

Note: abrupt discontinuation of therapy may result in worsening of cognitive function.  Memantine, Namenda should be tapered down by 50% dose reduction every 4 weeks if possible.

How to Take: extend release capsules must be swallowed whole, do not chew, crush or divide.  The entire contents of the capsule can be sprinkled on applesauce and swallowed immediately.  Can be taken without regard to meals.  Tablets must be swallowed whole, do not chew, crush or divide.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

When starting Memantine, Namenda make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have any prior medical history including cardiovascular disease, hepatic and renal impairment, ophthalmic disease, and/or seizure disorder.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed.  Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication? 

Hypertension, hypotension, weight gain, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, urinary incontinence, aggressive behavior, anxiety, confusion, depression, dizziness, fatigue, hallucinations, headache, urinary incontinence, back pain and cough.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only the most common.