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Namenda XR (Generic Memantine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Namenda XR (extended-release memantine) is a medication commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Namenda XR belongs to a class of medications known as NMDA receptor antagonists.

The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve the abnormal accumulation of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain, which leads to the destruction of nerve cells and neurotransmitter imbalances. Namenda XR works by blocking excessive activity of glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory processes. By modulating glutamate activity, Namenda XR helps regulate brain cell communication and may slow down the progression of symptoms in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

Namenda XR is typically prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for Alzheimer’s disease, which may also include other medications, such as cholinesterase inhibitors (e.g., donepezil) or lifestyle modifications. It is important to note that Namenda XR does not cure Alzheimer’s disease but can help manage its symptoms, such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with thinking and reasoning.

How should this medicine be used?

Namenda XR should be used exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional. The medication comes in the form of extended-release capsules, which are taken orally. Here are some general guidelines for the use of Namenda XR:

  • Dosage: The initial recommended dose of Namenda XR is 7 mg once daily. The dosage may be gradually increased by 7 mg per week, up to a maximum dose of 28 mg per day, depending on the individual’s tolerance and response to the medication. The dose adjustment should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Administration: Namenda XR capsules should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed, chewed, or divided. They can be taken with or without food.
  • Time of administration: Namenda XR is usually taken once daily, preferably at the same time each day, to maintain a consistent level of the medication in the body. It is important to follow the prescribed dosing schedule.
  • Compliance: It is essential to take Namenda XR regularly and not to miss any doses. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as remembered, unless it is close to the time for the next scheduled dose. In such cases, the missed dose should be skipped, and the regular dosing schedule should be resumed.
  • Duration of use: The duration of Namenda XR treatment is determined by the healthcare professional and is usually long-term for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed, even if there are no immediate noticeable effects.
  • Follow-up appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with the healthcare professional are necessary to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and make any necessary dosage adjustments.

It is important to remember that the specific instructions for using Namenda XR may vary depending on the individual’s condition and the healthcare professional’s recommendations. Always consult with a healthcare professional or refer to the medication’s prescribing information for precise instructions.

Other uses for this medicine

While Namenda XR is primarily prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease, there are a few other conditions for which it may be used off-label. Some healthcare professionals may prescribe Namenda XR off-label for conditions such as vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and other cognitive impairments. However, it’s important to note that the evidence supporting the use of Namenda XR for these conditions is limited, and the decision to prescribe it off-label should be made by a healthcare professional based on individual circumstances.

What special precautions should I follow?

When taking Namenda XR, it is crucial to be aware of the following special precautions:

  • Kidney function: Namenda XR is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Individuals with impaired kidney function may require dosage adjustments or closer monitoring while taking the medication. If you have kidney problems, it is important to inform your healthcare professional before starting Namenda XR.
  • Seizure disorders: Namenda XR may lower the seizure threshold. Individuals with a history of seizures or predisposition to seizures should be closely monitored while taking the medication.
  • Drug interactions: Namenda XR can interact with other medications, including certain drugs that affect urine pH (such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors) and drugs that are excreted by the kidneys (such as hydrochlorothiazide). Inform your healthcare professional about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements.
  • Allergies and hypersensitivity: If you have a known allergy or hypersensitivity to memantine or any other ingredients in Namenda XR, you should not take the medication. Inform your healthcare professional about any known allergies before starting treatment.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of Namenda XR during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding before using Namenda XR.
  • Other medical conditions: Inform your healthcare professional about any other medical conditions you have, including liver disease, urinary problems, or any other significant medical history. This information will help them determine if Namenda XR is suitable for you or if any precautions need to be taken.

It’s important to follow the guidance of a healthcare professional and read the medication’s prescribing information for a comprehensive list of precautions and potential side effects associated with Namenda XR.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with taking Namenda XR. However, it is generally recommended to follow a healthy and balanced diet as part of an overall approach to managing Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions for which Namenda XR is prescribed. A nutritious diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low in saturated fats, can support overall health and well-being.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Namenda XR, here’s what you should do:

  • Regular dose: If you remember that you missed a dose and it is not close to the time for your next scheduled dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Then, resume your regular dosing schedule.
  • Close to next dose: If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and wait until the next scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Namenda XR, like any medication, can cause side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects, and their severity and frequency can vary among individuals. Some common side effects of Namenda XR include:

  • Dizziness: This is one of the most commonly reported side effects of Namenda XR. It may cause a feeling of lightheadedness or unsteadiness.
  • Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches while taking Namenda XR.
  • Constipation: Namenda XR can cause changes in bowel movements, leading to constipation in some individuals.
  • Confusion: Although Namenda XR is used to manage symptoms of cognitive impairment, it may, in some cases, cause temporary confusion, especially at the start of treatment or during dosage adjustments.
  • Fatigue: Some individuals may experience increased fatigue or drowsiness while taking Namenda XR.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Namenda XR may cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.
  • Increased blood pressure: In rare cases, Namenda XR may lead to an increase in blood pressure. Blood pressure should be monitored regularly, especially in individuals with a history of hypertension.
  • Urinary tract infections: Namenda XR may slightly increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
  • Hallucinations: Rarely, Namenda XR may cause hallucinations or changes in perception.

It’s important to note that these are not all the possible side effects of Namenda XR. Some individuals may experience other side effects not listed here. If you experience any persistent or severe side effects or if any side effects become bothersome, it is important to contact your healthcare professional for guidance.

In some cases, serious allergic reactions to Namenda XR may occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

It’s worth mentioning that the above list is not exhaustive. Always refer to the medication’s prescribing information and consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive understanding of the potential side effects associated with Namenda XR.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store Namenda XR at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
  • Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.
  • Do not transfer the capsules to a different container.


  • Dispose of unused or expired Namenda XR properly and according to local regulations or guidelines.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into drains unless instructed to do so.
  • Contact your local waste management or pharmacy for information on proper medication disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an emergency or suspected overdose, call your local emergency services immediately or seek medical attention.
  • Contact a poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (United States) for guidance on the appropriate steps to take.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your healthcare professional for monitoring and follow-up.
  • Inform your healthcare professional about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as well as any medical conditions you have.
  • Inform all healthcare professionals involved in your care that you are taking Namenda XR.
  • Do not start or stop any medications without consulting your healthcare professional.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding Namenda XR, its usage, or potential side effects, speak with your healthcare professional or pharmacist for clarification.

It is important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional and refer to the medication’s prescribing information for comprehensive and specific details regarding storage, disposal, emergencies, and other essential information related to Namenda XR.

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