At this time, no generic Namenda products are available. The medication is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic versions from being made in the United States. When this patent expires in April 2015, other drug companies can begin manufacturing a generic Namenda medication. While you may see so-called generic versions on the Internet, these drugs are fake and potentially dangerous.
Generic Namenda: An Overview
Namenda® (memantine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for Alzheimer's disease. It is part of a group of medications known as NMDA receptor antagonists. It is the only medication in its class approved to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Namenda is made by Forest Laboratories, Inc. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Namenda from being manufactured in the United States. Yet if you search the Internet for "generic Namenda," you may find a number of companies selling it. The fact is that these medicines may be fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous. Generic Namenda may be available from another country, but there is really no way of knowing if you are actually getting genuine Namenda. You should not buy any generic Namenda until an approved version is available.
When Will Generic Namenda Be Available?
The first patent for Namenda is set to expire in April 2015. This is the earliest predictable date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as other patents for specific Namenda uses or lawsuits.
Is Memantine the Same as Generic Namenda?
No -- memantine hydrochloride is the active ingredient in Namenda, but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any 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. All medications have generic names; not all medications have generic versions available.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Namenda [package insert]. St. Louis, MO: Forest Laboratories, Inc.;2007 April.
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 June 5, 2009.
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