Recommended Topic Related To:

Namenda XR

"Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal designed to assist companies developing new treatments for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, before the onset of noticeable (overt) dementia.


Namenda XR


Clinical Trial Data Sources

NAMENDA XR was evaluated in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial treating a total of 676 patients with moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type (341 patients treated with NAMENDA XR 28 mg/day dose and 335 patients treated with placebo) for a treatment period up to 24 weeks.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adverse Reactions Leading To Discontinuation

In the placebo-controlled clinical trial of NAMENDA XR [See Clinical Studies], which treated a total of 676 patients, the proportion of patients in the NAMENDA XR 28 mg/day dose and placebo groups who discontinued treatment due to adverse events were 10.0% and 6.3%, respectively. The most common adverse reaction in the NAMENDA XR treated group that led to treatment discontinuation in this study was dizziness at a rate of 1.5%.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

The most commonly observed adverse reactions seen in patients administered NAMENDA XR in the controlled clinical trial, defined as those occurring at a frequency of at least 5% in the NAMENDA XR group and at a higher frequency than placebo were headache, diarrhea and dizziness.

Table 1 lists treatment-emergent adverse reactions that were observed at an incidence of ≥ 2% in the NAMENDA XR treated group and occurred at a rate greater than placebo.

Table 1: Adverse reactions observed with a frequency of ≥ 2% and occurring with a rate greater than placebo

Adverse reaction Placebo
(n = 335)
(n = 341)
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Diarrhea 4 5
Constipation 1 3
Abdominal pain 1 2
Vomiting 1 2
Infections and infestations
Influenza 3 4
Weight, increased 1 3
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Back pain 1 3
Nervous system disorders
Headache 5 6
Dizziness 1 5
Somnolence 1 3
Psychiatric disorders
Anxiety 3 4
Depression 1 3
Aggression 1 2
Renal and urinary disorders
Urinary incontinence 1 2
Vascular disorders
Hypertension 2 4
Hypotension 1 2

Vital Sign Changes

NAMENDA XR 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 XR. A comparison of supine and standing vital sign measures for NAMENDA XR and placebo in Alzheimer's patients indicated that NAMENDA XR treatment is not associated with orthostatic changes.

Laboratory Changes

NAMENDA XR 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 XR treatment.

ECG Changes

NAMENDA XR 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 XR treatment.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During Clinical Trials Of NAMENDA XR

Following is a list of treatment-emergent adverse reactions reported from 750 patients treated with NAMENDA XR for periods up to 52 weeks in double-blind or open-label clinical trials. The listing does not include those events already listed in Table 1, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those events for which descriptive terms were so lacking in specificity as to be uninformative, and those events reported only once which did not have a substantial probability of being immediately life threatening. Events are categorized by body system.

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: anemia.

Cardiac Disorders: bradycardia, myocardial infarction.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: fecal incontinence, nausea.

General Disorders: asthenia, fatigue, gait disturbance, irritability, peripheral edema, pyrexia.

Infections and Infestations: bronchitis, nasopharyngitis, pneumonia, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection.

Injury, Poisoning and Procedural Complications: fall.

Investigations: weight decreased.

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: anorexia, dehydration, decreased appetite, hyperglycemia.

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: arthralgia, pain in extremity.

Nervous System Disorders: convulsion, dementia Alzheimer's type, syncope, tremor.

Psychiatric Disorders: agitation, confusional state, delirium, delusion, disorientation, hallucination, insomnia, restlessness.

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders: cough, dyspnea.

Memantine Immediate Release Clinical Trial And Post Marketing Spontaneous Reports

The following additional adverse reactions have been identified from previous worldwide experience with memantine (immediate release) use. These adverse reactions have been chosen for inclusion because of a combination of seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to memantine and have not been listed elsewhere in labeling. However, because some of these adverse reactions were reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship between their occurrence and the administration of memantine. These events include:

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: agranulocytosis, leukopenia (including neutropenia), pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia. thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Cardiac Disorders: atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular block (including 2nd and 3rd degree block), cardiac failure, orthostatic hypotension, and torsades de pointes.

Endocrine Disorders: inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion.

Gastrointestinal disorders: colitis, pancreatitis.

General disorders and administration site conditions: malaise, sudden death.

Hepatobiliary Disorders: hepatitis (including abnormal hepatic function test, cytolytic and cholestatic hepatitis), hepatic failure.

Infections and infestations: sepsis.

Investigations: electrocardiogram QT prolonged, international normalized ratio increased.

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: hypoglycaemia, hyponatraemia.

Nervous System Disorders: convulsions (including grand mal), cerebrovascular accident, dyskinesia, extrapyramidal disorder, hypertonia, loss of consciousness, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, Parkinsonism, tardive dyskinesia, transient ischemic attack.

Psychiatric Disorders: hallucinations (both visual and auditory), restlessness, suicidal ideation.

Renal and Urinary Disorders: acute renal failure (including abnormal renal function test), urinary retention.

Skin Disorders: rash, Stevens Johnson syndrome.

Vascular Disorders: pulmonary embolism, thrombophlebitis, deep venous thrombosis.

The following adverse events have been reported to be temporally associated with memantine treatment and are not described elsewhere in the product labeling: aspiration pneumonia, bone fracture, carpal tunnel syndrome, cerebral infarction, chest pain, cholelithiasis, claudication, depressed level of consciousness (including rare reports of coma), dysphagia, encephalopathy, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, intracranial hemorrhage, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, ileus, impotence, lethargy, myoclonus, supraventricular tachycardia, and tachycardia. However, there is again no evidence that any of these additional adverse events are caused by memantine.

Read the Namenda XR (memantine hydrochloride extended release capsules) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


No drug-drug interaction studies have been conducted with NAMENDA XR, specifically,

Use With Other N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Antagonists

The combined use of NAMENDA XR with other NMDA antagonists (amantadine, ketamine, and dextromethorphan) has not been systematically evaluated and such use should be approached with caution.

Effect Of Memantine On The Metabolism Of Other Drugs

In vitro studies conducted with marker substrates of CYP450 enzymes (CYP1A2, -2A6, 2C9, -2D6, -2E1, -3A4) showed minimal inhibition of these enzymes by memantine. In addition, in vitro studies indicate that at concentrations exceeding those associated with efficacy, memantine does not induce the cytochrome P450 isozymes CYP1A2, -2C9, 2E1 and -3A4/5. No pharmacokinetic interactions with drugs metabolized by these enzymes are expected.

Pharmacokinetic studies evaluated the potential of memantine for interaction with donepezil (See - Use with Cholinesterase Inhibitors) and bupropion. Coadministration of memantine with the AChE inhibitor donepezil HCl does not affect the pharmacokinetics of either compound. Memantine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of the CYP2B6 substrate bupropion or its metabolite hydroxybupropion.

Effect Of Other Drugs On Memantine

Memantine is predominantly renally eliminated, and drugs that are substrates and/or inhibitors of the CYP450 system are not expected to alter the pharmacokinetics of memantine. A clinical drug-drug interaction study indicated that bupropion did not affect the pharmacokinetics of memantine.

Drugs Eliminated Via Renal Mechanisms

Because memantine is eliminated in part by tubular secretion, coadministration of drugs that use the same renal cationic system, including hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), triamterene (TA), metformin, cimetidine, ranitidine, quinidine, and nicotine, could potentially result in altered plasma levels of both agents. However, coadministration of memantine and HCTZ/TA did not affect the bioavailability of either memantine or TA, and the bioavailability of HCTZ decreased by 20%. In addition, coadministration of memantine with the antihyperglycemic drug Glucovance®(glyburide and metformin HCl) did not affect the pharmacokinetics of memantine, metformin and glyburide. Furthermore, memantine did not modify the serum glucose lowering effect of Glucovance®, indicating the absence of a pharmacodynamic interaction.

Drugs That Make The Urine Alkaline

The clearance of memantine was reduced by about 80% under alkaline urine conditions at pH 8. Therefore, alterations of urine pH towards the alkaline condition may lead to an accumulation of the drug with a possible increase in adverse effects. Urine pH is altered by diet, drugs (e.g. carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, sodium bicarbonate) and clinical state of the patient (e.g. renal tubular acidosis or severe infections of the urinary tract). Hence, memantine should be used with caution under these conditions.

Drugs Highly Bound To Plasma Proteins

Because the plasma protein binding of memantine is low (45%), an interaction with drugs that are highly bound to plasma proteins, such as warfarin and digoxin, is unlikely.

Use With Cholinesterase Inhibitors

Coadministration of memantine with the AChE inhibitor donepezil HCl did not affect the pharmacokinetics of either compound. In a 24-week controlled clinical study in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, the adverse event profile observed with a combination of memantine immediate-release and donepezil was similar to that of donepezil alone.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Memantine is not a controlled substance. Memantine 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 3,254 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.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/21/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


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.

WebMD Daily

Get breaking medical news.