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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.

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How NAMENDA XR® Works

How Does NAMENDA XR Work?

NAMENDA XR works in a different way than other Alzheimer's disease medications. That's why adding NAMENDA XR to an AChEI is effective — 2 different treatments working 2 different ways to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

There are 2 types of medications that are approved to treat the symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease:

  • Glutamate pathway modifiers
    (NAMENDA XR)
  • Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) like ARICEPT® (donepezil)*,
    RAZADYNE® (galantamine), and
    EXELON® (rivastigmine)
AChEl + Namenda XR

What prescription drug treatments are available?

There are currently 2 types of prescription medications for Alzheimer's disease. These medications work differently to treat the symptoms of the disease. Often these medications are used together in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

  • One type of medication is thought to work by slowing the breakdown of a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. This chemical is involved in learning and memory. This type of medication is called an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (or AChEI). Examples of this medication include ARICEPT® (donepezil),* RAZADYNE® (galantamine), and EXELON® (rivastigmine).
  • Another type of Alzheimer's disease medication may help regulate the abnormal activity of glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is another chemical in the brain that is important for learning and memory. NAMENDA XR is a once-a-day medication of this type approved for moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, which can be used alone or added to ongoing AChEI therapy.

Because the 2 types of medication work in different ways, taking them together may be helpful — this is called combination therapy.

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

*ARICEPT is a registered trademark of Eisai Co., Ltd.
RAZADYNE is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson.
EXELON and EXELON PATCH are registered trademarks of Novartis AG Corp.

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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 or kidney 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.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.

WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

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 or kidney 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.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.

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