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Namenda Fact Sheet

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Medication Name (brand): 
Medication Name (clinical): 

Forest Labs; market exclusivity expires 2008

  • Moderate to severe Alzheimer’s dementia.

  • Off-label use for mild to moderate dementia.


NMDA antagonist, works by preventing too much glutamate from damaging neurons.

  • Supplied as:

  • 5 mg tan and 10 mg gray tablets
  • 2 mg/mL oral solution
  • Start at 5 mg QD for 1 week, then 5 mg BID for 1 week, then 10 mg QAM and 5 mg QPM for 1 week, and finally 10 BID (target dose).
  • No dose adjustment needed in hepatic impairment; decrease dose in severe renal impairment.

Side Effects: 
  • Most common: dizziness, sedation, transient confusion.

  • Pregnancy risk category B.

Drug-drug Interactions: 

No significant interactions reported.


Metabolized partly by liver; half is excreted unchanged in the urine.

  • Namenda mildly augments the effects of Aricept in clinical trials (JAMA 2004;291:317-324).

  • Probably less effective for mild dementia; this indication was rejected by the FDA in 2005.

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