"Jan. 7, 2013 -- Can commonly prescribed blood pressure pills help reduce the risk of developing dementia?
Maybe, according to a new study of 774 elderly Japanese-American men.
While it's well known that high blood pressure"...
Namenda Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) is used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's type dementia. It is an orally active NMDA receptor antagonist. Common side effects include tiredness, body aches, dizziness, constipation, and headache.
The recommended starting dose of Namenda is 5 mg once daily. The recommended target dose is 20 mg/day. Dosage is increased in 5 mg increments to 10 mg/day (5 mg twice a day), 15 mg/day (5 mg and 10 mg as separate doses), and 20 mg/day (10 mg twice a day). The minimum recommended interval between dose increases is one week. Namenda may interact with cimetidine, nicotine, ranitidine, quinidine, sodium bicarbonate, antiviral medication, cold or cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, diuretics (water pills), medicine to treat glaucoma, or oral diabetes medicine containing metformin. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. Namenda should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Namenda in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using memantine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- cough, chest tightness, fever, trouble breathing;
- chest pain, fast heart rate;
- confusion, hallucinations;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- lack of coordination;
- fainting or seizure (convulsions);
- urinating less than usual or not at all;
- pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness; or
- increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite;
- dizziness, tired feeling;
- weight loss;
- swelling in your hands or feet;
- fast heart rate;
- easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
- joint pain;
- anxiety, aggression;
- skin rash;
- redness or swelling of or around your eyes; or
- urinating more than usual.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Namenda (Memantine HCL) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Namenda Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Namenda (Memantine HCL)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Namenda FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The experience described in this section derives from studies in patients with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
Adverse Events Leading to Discontinuation: In placebo-controlled trials in which dementia patients received doses of Namenda (memantine hcl) up to 20 mg/day, the likelihood of discontinuation because of an adverse event was the same in the Namenda (memantine hcl) group as in the placebo group. No individual adverse event was associated with the discontinuation of treatment in 1% or more of Namenda (memantine hcl) -treated patients and at a rate greater than placebo.
Adverse Events Reported in Controlled Trials: The reported adverse events in Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) trials reflect experience gained under closely monitored conditions in a highly selected patient population. In actual practice or in other clinical trials, these frequency estimates may not apply, as the conditions of use, reporting behavior and the types of patients treated may differ. Table 1 lists treatment-emergent signs and symptoms that were reported in at least 2% of patients in placebo-controlled dementia trials and for which the rate of occurrence was greater for patients treated with Namenda (memantine hcl) than for those treated with placebo. No adverse event occurred at a frequency of at least 5% and twice the placebo rate.
Table 1: Adverse Events Reported in Controlled Clinical Trials in at Least 2% of Patients Receiving Namenda (memantine hcl) and at a Higher Frequency than Placebo-treated Patients.
| Body System/
(N = 922)
| Namenda (memantine hcl)
(N = 940)
|Body as a Whole|
|Central and Peripheral Nervous System|
Other adverse events occurring with an incidence of at least 2% in Namenda (memantine hcl) -treated patients but at a greater or equal rate on placebo were agitation, fall, inflicted injury, urinary incontinence, diarrhea, bronchitis, insomnia, urinary tract infection, influenza-like symptoms, abnormal gait, depression, upper respiratory tract infection, anxiety, peripheral edema, nausea, anorexia, and arthralgia.
The overall profile of adverse events and the incidence rates for individual adverse events in the subpopulation of patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease were not different from the profile and incidence rates described above for the overall dementia population.
Vital Sign Changes: Namenda (memantine hcl) and placebo groups were compared with respect to (1) mean change from baseline in vital signs (pulse, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and weight) and (2) the incidence of patients meeting criteria for potentially clinically significant changes from baseline in these variables. There were no clinically important changes in vital signs in patients treated with Namenda (memantine hcl) . A comparison of supine and standing vital sign measures for Namenda (memantine hcl) and placebo in elderly normal subjects indicated that Namenda (memantine hcl) treatment is not associated with orthostatic changes.
Laboratory Changes: Namenda (memantine hcl) and placebo groups were compared with respect to (1) mean change from baseline in various serum chemistry, >hematology, and urinalysis variables and (2) the incidence of patients meeting criteria for potentially clinically significant changes from baseline in these variables. These analyses revealed no clinically important changes in laboratory test parameters associated with Namenda (memantine hcl) treatment.
ECG Changes: Namenda (memantine hcl) and placebo groups were compared with respect to (1) mean change from baseline in various ECG parameters and (2) the incidence of patients meeting criteria for potentially clinically significant changes from baseline in these variables. These analyses revealed no clinically important changes in ECG parameters associated with Namenda (memantine hcl) treatment.
Other Adverse Events Observed During Clinical Trials
Namenda (memantine hcl) has been administered to approximately 1350 patients with dementia, of whom more than 1200 received the maximum recommended dose of 20 mg/day. Patients received Namenda (memantine hcl) treatment for periods of up to 884 days, with 862 patients receiving at least 24 weeks of treatment and 387 patients receiving 48 weeks or more of treatment. Treatment emergent signs and symptoms that occurred during 8 controlled clinical trials and 4 open-label trials were recorded as adverse events by the clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. To provide an overall estimate of the proportion of individuals having similar types of events, the events were grouped into a smaller number of standardized categories using WHO terminology, and event frequencies were calculated across all studies.
All adverse events occurring in at least two patients are included, except for those already listed in Table 1, WHO terms too general to be informative, minor symptoms or events unlikely to be drug-caused, e.g., because they are common in the study population. Events are classified by body system and listed using the following definitions: frequent adverse events - those occurring in at least 1/100 patients; infrequent adverse events - those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients. These adverse events are not necessarily related to Namenda (memantine hcl) treatment and in most cases were observed at a similar frequency in placebo- treated patients in the controlled studies.
Cardiovascular System: Frequent:cardiac failure. Infrequent: angina pectoris, bradycardia, myocardial infarction, thrombophlebitis, atrial fibrillation, hypotension, cardiac arrest, postural hypotension, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary edema.
Central and Peripheral Nervous System: Frequent: transient ischemic attack, cerebrovascular accident, vertigo, ataxia, hypokinesia. Infrequent: paresthesia, convulsions, extrapyramidal disorder, hypertonia, tremor, aphasia, hypoesthesia, abnormal coordination, hemiplegia, hyperkinesia, involuntary muscle contractions, stupor, cerebral hemorrhage, neuralgia, ptosis, neuropathy.
Psychiatric Disorders: Frequent:aggressive reaction. Infrequent: delusion, personality disorder, emotional lability, nervousness, sleep disorder, libido increased, psychosis, amnesia, apathy, paranoid reaction, thinking abnormal, crying abnormal, appetite increased, paroniria, delirium, depersonalization, neurosis, suicide attempt.
Special Senses: Frequent: cataract, conjunctivitis. Infrequent: macula lutea degeneration, decreased visual acuity, decreased hearing, tinnitus, blepharitis, blurred vision, corneal opacity, glaucoma, conjunctival hemorrhage, eye pain, retinal hemorrhage, xerophthalmia, diplopia, abnormal lacrimation, myopia, retinal detachment.
Urinary System: Frequent: frequent micturition. Infrequent: dysuria, hematuria, urinary retention.
Events Reported Subsequent to the Marketing of Namenda (memantine hcl) , both US and Ex-US
Although no causal relationship to memantine treatment has been found, the following adverse events have been reported to be temporally associated with memantine treatment and are not described elsewhere in labeling: aspiration pneumonia, asthenia, atrioventricular block, bone fracture, carpal tunnel syndrome, cerebral infarction, chest pain, cholelithiasis, claudication, colitis, deep venous thrombosis, depressed level of consciousness (including loss of consciousness and rare reports of coma), dyskinesia, dysphagia, encephalopathy, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, grand mal convulsions, intracranial hemorrhage, hepatitis (including increased ALT and AST and hepatic failure), hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypoglycemia, ileus, increased INR, impotence, lethargy, malaise, myoclonus, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, acute pancreatitis, Parkinsonism, acute renal failure (including increased creatinine and renal insufficiency), prolonged QT interval, restlessness, sepsis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, suicidal ideation, sudden death, supraventricular tachycardia, tachycardia, tardive dyskinesia, thrombocytopenia, and hallucinations (both visual and auditory).
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Controlled Substance Class: Memantine HCl is not a controlled substance.
Physical and Psychological Dependence: Memantine HCl is a low to moderate affinity uncompetitive NMDA antagonist that did not produce any evidence of drug-seeking behavior or withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation in 2,504 patients who participated in clinical trials at therapeutic doses. Post marketing data, outside the U.S., retrospectively collected, has provided no evidence of drug abuse or dependence.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Namenda (Memantine HCL) »
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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