Memantine (By mouth)

Introduction

Memantine (me-MAN-teen)

Treats dementia (memory loss and mental changes) that is a sign of Alzheimer's disease.

Brand Name(s)

Namenda

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to memantine.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Most people need to wait at least one week between dose changes.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • If you cannot swallow the extended-release capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of soft food such as pudding, yogurt, or applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing.
  • For the liquid and extended-release capsule form: This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using amantadine (Symmetrel®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), ketamine (Ketalar®), metformin (Glucophage®), quinidine (Cardioquin®, Quinaglute®, Quinidex®), or ranitidine (Zantac®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using a diuretic or "water pill" (such as acetazolamide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], methazolamide, triamterene, Diamox®, Dyazide®, Dyrenium®, Maxzide®, or Neptazane®) or an antacid or laxative that contains sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda (such as Alka-Seltzer®).
  • Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you are using a stop-smoking aid that contains nicotine (such as Nicoderm®, Nicorette®, or Nicotrol®) or a cold or cough medicine that contains dextromethorphan (DayQuil®, NyQuil®, Robitussin® DM, or TheraFlu®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bladder problems or difficulty with urination, or epilepsy or seizures.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you get a urinary tract infection. This includes any infection in your bladder or kidneys. Your dose of this medicine might need to be changed while you have an infection.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there.
  • Severe sleepiness, restlessness, or confusion.
  • Sudden or severe headache.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Feeling aggressive or depressed.
  • Mild headache.
  • Tiredness or weakness.
  • Weight gain.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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