Jump to Navigation

Namenda Fact Sheet

Printer-friendly version
Medication Name (brand): 
Namenda
Medication Name (clinical): 
memantine
Manufacturer: 

Forest Labs; market exclusivity expires 2008

Indications: 
  • Moderate to severe Alzheimer’s dementia.

  • Off-label use for mild to moderate dementia.

Mechanism: 

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

Dosing: 
  • 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.

Pharmokinetics: 

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

Pearls: 
  • 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.

Return to issue area