Memantine

Memantine may improve the ability to think and remember for those with Alzheimer's disease. Memantine can cause drowsiness. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how it affects you.

Memantine Overview

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Memantine is a prescription medication used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Memantine is in a class of medications called NMDA receptor antagonists. It works by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain.

This medication comes in tablet and oral (by mouth) solution forms and is usually taken once or twice daily, with or without food.

This medication also comes as an extended release capsule and is taken once daily. 

Common side effects of memantine include tiredness, dizziness, headache, and confusion. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how memantine affects you.

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Memantine Cautionary Labels

precautions

Uses of Memantine

Memantine is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Memantine Brand Names

Memantine may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Memantine Drug Class

Memantine is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Memantine

Memantine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • extreme tiredness 
  • dizziness 
  • confusion 
  • headache 
  • sleepiness 
  • constipation 
  • vomiting 
  • pain anywhere in your body, especially your back 
  • coughing

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately: 

  • shortness of breath 
  • hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)

Memantine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Memantine Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • acetazolamide (Diamox);
  • amantadine (Symmetrel);
  • brinzolamide (Azopt);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • dextromethorphan (Robitussin, others);
  • dichlorphenamide (Daranide);
  • dorzolamide (Trusopt);
  • methazolamide (GlaucTabs, Nepatazane);
  • nicotine (Nicoderm, Nicorette, others);
  • potassium citrate and citric acid (Cytra-K, Polycitra-K);
  • ranitidine (Zantac);
  • sodium bicarbonate (Soda Mint, baking soda);
  • sodium citrate and citric acid (Bicitra, Oracit);
  • and quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex)

This is not a complete list of memantine drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

Memantine Precautions

You should not take memantine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to memantine or any other medicines.

Memantine can make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.

Poor liver or kidney function can lead to an increase in the level of memantine in the body. This may increase your risk of side effects. Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.

Memantine Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of memantine there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking memantine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to memantine or any other medications
  • have or have ever had asthma, seizures, kidney disease, or repeated urinary tract infections
  • re pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking memantine, call your doctor. 
  • are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking memantine
  • use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.

Memantine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Memantine and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Memantine falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with memantine. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

 

Memantine and Lactation

It is not known if memantine crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using memantine.

 

Memantine Usage

  • Memantine tablet and oral (by mouth) solution is taken by mouth, usually once daily to start and then twice daily.
  • It can be taken with or without food.
  • Memantine extended release capsules are taken once daily.
  • Take this medicine at the same time every day.
  • Memantine treats the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease but does not cure it. Continue to take memantine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor.

Memantine Dosage

Take memantine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you.
 
Tablets and Oral Solution:
  • The recommended starting dose of memantine is 5 mg once daily. The recommended target dose is 20 mg/day. The dose should be increased in 5 mg increments to 10 mg/day (5 mg twice a day), 15 mg/day (5 mg and 10 mg as separate doses), and 20 mg/day (10mg twice a day).

Extended Release Capsules:

  • The recommended starting dose of memantine XR is 7 mg once daily. The recommended target dose is 28 mg once daily. The dose should be increased in 7 mg increments to 28 mg once daily.

 

Memantine Overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911. Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • restlessness 
  • hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist) 
  • sleepiness 
  • loss of consciousness 

Because strategies for the management of overdose are continually evolving, it is advisable to contact a poison control center to determine the latest recommendations for the management of an overdose of any drug.

Other Requirements

  • Store memantine between 15-30°C (59-86°F).
  • Store memantine XR capsules between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Do not use memantine after the expiration date shown on the carton and bottle.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.