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Namenda

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Updated May 15, 2005

Brand Name:

Namenda

Generic Name:

memantine

FDA Drug Classification:

Orally active NMDA receptor antagonist.

Action:

Namenda is thought to selectively block the toxic effects associated with abnormal transmission of glutamate in the neural pathways, while allowing for the physiological transmission associated with normal cell functioning. Abnormal levels of glutamate is thought to be responsible for neuronal cell dysfunction and the eventual cell death observed in Alzheimer's disease.

Adverse Effects:

  • Dizziness - be careful when standing and walking to prevent falls.
  • Confusion - patients taking this drug for the first time should do so under supervision until its effects are known.
  • Headache - check with your doctor for treatment if severe.
  • Constipation - drink lots of water and follow a diet high in fiber.

Precautions:

Should not be used by:
  • patients allergic to this drug
  • patients with severe renal impairment

Interactions:

Before taking memantine, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
  • antiviral medicines amantadine (Symmetrel) or rimantadine (Flumadine)
  • cough medicine dextromethorphan (found in many prescription and over-the-counter cough and cold products)
  • carbonic anhydrase inhibitor such as acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Daranide), or methazolamide (Neptazane, MZM, Glauctabs) or
  • potassium citrate (Urocit K, K-Lyte, Effer-K, others).

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