Alzheimers Home > Namenda Side Effects

Headache, dizziness, and confusion are the most common side effects of Namenda. Although problems with the medication are generally minor, some may need to be reported to a healthcare provider. Potentially serious side effects of this drug (that require immediate medical attention) include painful or difficult breathing, hallucinations, and signs of an allergic reaction.

An Introduction to Namenda Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Namenda® (memantine hydrochloride); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Namenda. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Namenda side effects with you.)
 

Common Side Effects of Namenda

Namenda has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these trials, one group of people was given the real medication, while another group was given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). This way, it is possible to see what Namenda side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group who took the placebo.
 
In these studies, the most common side effects of Namenda included:
 
  • Dizziness -- in up to 7 percent of people
  • Headaches -- up to 6 percent
  • Confusion -- up to 6 percent
  • Constipation -- up to 5 percent
  • High blood pressure -- up to 4 percent
  • Cough -- up to 4 percent.
     
Other common side effects, occurring in 2 to 3 percent of people, included:
 
  • Fatigue
  • General body pain
  • Back pain
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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