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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Memantine

Why is this medication prescribed?

Memantine is used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Memantine is in a class of medications called NMDA receptor antagonists. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Memantine can help people with Alzheimer's disease to think more clearly and perform daily activities more easily, but it is not a cure and does not stop the progression of the disease.

How should this medicine be used?

Memantine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. To help you remember to take memantine, take it at around the same time(s) every day. Take memantine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of memantine and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week.

Memantine controls Alzheimer's disease but does not cure it. Continue to take memantine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking memantine without talking to your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking memantine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to memantine or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: acetazolamide (Diamox); amantadine (Symmetrel); brinzolamide (Azopt); cimetidine (Tagamet); dextromethorphan (Robitussin, others); dichlorphenamide (Daranide); dorzolamide (Trusopt); methazolamide (GlaucTabs, Nepatazane); nicotine (Nicoderm, Nicorette, others); potassium citrate and citric acid (Cytra-K, Polycitra-K); ranitidine (Zantac); sodium bicarbonate (Soda Mint, baking soda); sodium citrate and citric acid (Bicitra, Oracit); and quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, seizures, kidney disease, or repeated urinary tract infections.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking memantine, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking memantine.
  • you should know that memantine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Tell your doctor if you are a vegetarian or if you usually eat large amounts of citrus fruits, vegetables, beans, or peas. Your doctor will tell you if you need to change your diet. If you do not regularly eat these foods, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Memantine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • extreme tiredness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • pain anywhere in your body, especially your back
  • coughing

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • shortness of breath
  • hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)

Memantine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • restlessness
  • hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • sleepiness
  • loss of consciousness

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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