Namenda XR

Available by prescription, Namenda XR is licensed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It comes in the form of an extended-release capsule, and is only taken once a day. This medication is not suitable for everyone; make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medical conditions you may have and any other medications you are taking. Side effects may include diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness.

What Is Namenda XR?

Namenda XR® (memantine XR) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It is a long-acting, once-daily version of an older medication used as an Alzheimer's treatment.
(Click Namenda XR Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Namenda XR is made by Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does It Work?

Namenda XR is classified as an NMDA receptor antagonist. "NMDA" stands for N-methyl-D-asparate. It is thought that some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's may be related to changes in NMDA receptors that allow for abnormal, excessive excitation of the receptors by glutamate (a neurotransmitter brain chemical).
Namenda XR works by binding to the NMDA receptor and preventing excessive excitation by glutamate. Currently, no other Alzheimer's medications work like Namenda XR, other than the short-acting version, Namenda.

When and How to Take Namenda XR

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Namenda XR include the following:
  • This medication comes in extended-release capsule form. It is taken by mouth once daily.
  • You can take this medication with food or on an empty stomach. If Namenda XR bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
  • Do not crush, chew, cut, or dissolve the extended-release capsules, as this will cause the medication to be released too quickly. You should swallow them whole.
  • If you cannot swallow the capsules whole, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the contents on a little applesauce. This should be eaten right away, without chewing.
  • Make sure to take this medication at the same time each day to keep an even level in your blood.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not suddenly stop taking it.
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Namenda XR Medication Information

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