Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Namenda
  2. Namenda XR
  3. Namenda XR Titration Pack


Memantine is used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. Memantine is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease but it can help people with the disease. Memantine will not cure Alzheimer's disease, and it will not stop the disease from getting worse.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet
  • Solution
  • Capsule, Extended Release

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of memantine have not been performed in the pediatric population.


No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of memantine in geriatric patients.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Acetazolamide
  • Amantadine
  • Brinzolamide
  • Bupropion
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Dorzolamide
  • Ketamine
  • Methazolamide
  • Sodium Bicarbonate

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Epilepsy or seizures or
  • Urinary tract problems (e.g., bladder problems, difficulty with urination)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions in the insert carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Swallow the extended-release capsules whole. Do not break, crush, or chew them.

If you cannot swallow the extended-release capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of soft food such as applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing.

For patients taking the oral liquid:

  • Remove the oral dosing syringe along with the cap and plastic tube from the bag and attach to tube to the cap.
  • Open the child-resistant cap on the bottle by pushing down on the cap while turning the cap counter-clockwise (to the left) and remove the cap and seal from the bottle.
  • Insert the plastic tube fully into the bottle and screw the cap tightly onto the bottle by turning the cap clockwise (to the right).
  • Keeping the bottle upright on the table, remove the lid to uncover the opening on the top of the cap. With the plunger fully depressed, insert the tip of the syringe firmly into the opening of the cap.
  • While holding the syringe, gently pull the plunger of the syringe up to draw medicine into the syringe.
  • Remove the syringe from the cap opening. Invert the syringe (point tip upwards) and slowly press the plunger to a level that pushed out any large air bubbles that may be present. Keep the plunger in this position.
  • Re-insert the tip of the syringe into the cap opening. While holding the syringe, continue to gently pull out the plunger until the bottom of the black ring of the plunger reaches the appropriate mark on the syringe that corresponds to the dose prescribed.
  • Remove the syringe from the bottle and swallow the oral solution directly from the syringe. Do not mix with any other liquid.
  • After use, reseal the bottle by snapping the attached lid closed.
  • Rinse the empty syringe by inserting the open end of the syringe into a glass of water, pulling the plunger out to draw in water, and pushing the plunger in to remove the water. Repeat several times. Allow the syringe to air dry.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For treatment of Alzheimer's disease:
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release capsules):
      • Adults—At first, 7 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 28 mg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (solution and tablets):
      • Adults—At first, 5 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 10 mg two times a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

  1. Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  2. blurred vision
  3. dizziness
  4. headache
  5. nervousness
  6. pounding in the ears
  7. rapid weight gain
  8. slow or fast heartbeat
  9. tingling of the hands or feet
  10. unusual weight gain or loss

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain
  2. agitation
  3. black, tarry stools
  4. bleeding gums
  5. blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  6. blood in the urine or stools
  7. chest pain
  8. coma
  9. constipation
  10. continuing vomiting
  11. convulsions
  12. dark-colored urine
  13. decreased urine output
  14. depression
  15. fainting
  16. fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  17. general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  18. high fever
  19. high or low blood pressure
  20. hostility
  21. increased sweating
  22. indigestion
  23. infection from breathing foreign substances into the lungs
  24. itching
  25. lethargy
  26. light-colored stools
  27. lip smacking or puckering
  28. loss of consciousness
  29. muscle twitching
  30. no blood pressure
  31. no breathing
  32. no pulse
  33. numbness or tingling in the face, arms, or legs
  34. pain in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  35. pain or swelling in the arms or legs without any injury
  36. pain, tension, and weakness upon walking that subsides during periods of rest
  37. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  38. pounding, slow heartbeat
  39. puffing of the cheeks
  40. rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue
  41. rapid weight gain
  42. recurrent fainting
  43. red irritated eyes
  44. red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  45. seizures
  46. severe constipation
  47. severe headache
  48. severe muscle stiffness
  49. severe vomiting
  50. sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  51. stupor
  52. sudden severe weakness
  53. swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  54. total body jerking
  55. trouble with speaking or walking
  56. troubled breathing
  57. twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  58. uncontrolled chewing movements
  59. unusual bleeding or bruising
  60. unusually pale skin
  61. vomiting
  62. yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Confusion

Less common

  1. Anxiety
  2. back pain
  3. bladder pain
  4. bloody or cloudy urine
  5. change in walking and balance
  6. chills
  7. clumsiness or unsteadiness
  8. cough producing mucus
  9. coughing
  10. diarrhea
  11. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  12. difficulty with breathing
  13. difficulty with moving
  14. discouragement
  15. dry mouth
  16. fear
  17. feeling sad or empty
  18. fever
  19. frequent urge to urinate
  20. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  21. hyperventilation
  22. insomnia
  23. irritability
  24. joint pain
  25. loss of appetite
  26. loss of bladder control
  27. loss of interest or pleasure
  28. lower back or side pain
  29. muscle pain or stiffness
  30. nausea
  31. nervousness
  32. pain
  33. pain in the joints
  34. restlessness
  35. seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  36. shortness of breath
  37. sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  38. sore throat
  39. tightness in the chest
  40. tiredness
  41. trouble with concentrating
  42. trouble with sleeping
  43. unusual tiredness or weakness
  44. vomiting
  45. wheezing

Incidence not known

  1. Burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  2. burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in all fingers except smallest finger
  3. cold sweats
  4. cool pale skin
  5. decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  6. difficulty with swallowing
  7. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  8. heartburn
  9. inability to have or keep an erection
  10. increased hunger
  11. large amounts of fat in the blood
  12. loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  13. nightmares
  14. shakiness
  15. slurred speech
  16. stomach cramps
  17. stomach upset
  18. tenderness in the stomach area
  19. watery or bloody diarrhea

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.