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Lots of people can keep driving as they get older, but it's important to keep tabs on your loved one's skills to make sure she stays safe. Keep in mind, there are lots of ways to get around that don't involve her getting behind the wheel. Here's what you can do to let her stay mobile without becoming a danger to herself or others.

Keep the car in good shape. You can head off problems by making sure the car is well-maintained. Get it serviced regularly and check the gas, oil, and tire pressure.

Watch for signs of driving problems. Your loved one may be a perfectly safe driver right now. But her driving skills can get worse suddenly, so keep an eye on the situation. Watch for signs of trouble -- getting lost, driving too slowly or too quickly, getting anxious or frustrated, and having close calls or accidents.

Get an independent evaluation. Contact a driver rehabilitation specialist (DRS) or call the department of motor vehicles to see if the state offers driving evaluations for elderly drivers. Some states require driver tests for people who get diagnosed with certain conditions, like dementia. If your loved one passes the test, she should probably take it again in 6 months.

Set consistent limits on driving. For your loved one's safety, you may need to restrict when and where she can drive. For instance, you might ask her not drive after dark or in bad weather. Or you might want her to drive only within town.  

Carpool. If you're giving a lot of lifts to your loved one, get in touch with other caregivers. You might find a way to share some of the driving.

Look into free transportation. Hospitals, senior centers, and adult day cares often have services to take elderly people to doctors' appointments, shopping, and other errands.

Evaluate public transportation. Many regions have buses with hydraulic lifts that help people with walkers or wheelchairs. But if a loved one isn't used to taking the bus, you might want to take the trip with him a few times so he gets the hang of it.

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR® prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

Who should NOT take NAMENDA XR?

NAMENDA XR should not be taken by anyone who is allergic (hypersensitive) to memantine, the active substance in NAMENDA XR, or who has had a bad reaction to NAMENDA XR or any of its ingredients.

What should be discussed with the healthcare provider before taking NAMENDA XR?

Before starting NAMENDA XR, talk to the healthcare provider about all of the patient's past and present medical conditions, including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Liver, kidney, or bladder problems

If the patient is taking other medications (including those without a prescription), ask the healthcare provider if NAMENDA XR is right for the patient.

  • Certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of NAMENDA XR in the body and possibly increase side effects.

What are the possible side effects of NAMENDA XR?

The most common side effects associated with NAMENDA XR treatment are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. This is not a complete list of side effects.

NAMENDA XR® (memantine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules are approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. NAMENDA XR is available by prescription only.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.