There are no generic Namenda XR (memantine XR) products available at this time. The earliest possible date that a generic version could become available is 2015, when the first patent expires. It's important to note that memantine XR is the "generic name" for this product; it's not a "generic version."
Namenda XR is made by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Currently, this drug is protected by patents that prevent any generic versions from being sold in the United States.
When Will Generic Namenda XR Be Available?
The first patent for Namenda XR currently expires in April 2015. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period, such as lawsuits or other patents for specific Namenda XR uses. Once the patent expires, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic Namenda XR drug.
Is Memantine a Generic Namenda XR?
No -- memantine is the active ingredient in Namenda XR (as well as in short-acting Namenda), but it is not a generic version of it. Generic versions of short-acting memantine are available, but these products are not equivalent to Namenda XR. What can be confusing is that oftentimes, the active ingredient of a drug is referred to as the "generic name."
The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 1, 2010.
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