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Aricept vs. Namenda

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Aricept and Namenda the Same Thing?

Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) and Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) are used to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate dementia like that found in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Aricept and Namenda belong to different drug classes. Aricept is a cholinesterase inhibitor and Namenda is an orally active NMDA receptor antagonist.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Aricept?

Common side effects of Aricept include:

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Aricept including painful urination, seizures, chest pain, and GI symptoms of tarry or bloody stools and vomiting blood or material that resembles "coffee grounds."

What Are Possible Side Effects of Namenda?

Common side effects of Namenda include:

  • tiredness,
  • body aches,
  • joint pain,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • headache,
  • swelling in your hands or feet,
  • fast heart rate,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • unusual weakness,
  • anxiety,
  • aggression,
  • skin rash,
  • redness or swelling of or around your eyes, or
  • urinating more than usual.

Many people using Namenda do not have serious side effects.

What is Aricept?

Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) is a cholinesterase inhibitor that reduces or prevents acetylcholine breakdown in brain tissue. Aricept is used to treat mild to moderate dementia like that found in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Aricept is not a cure; it reduces symptoms.

What is Namenda?

Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) is an orally active NMDA receptor antagonist used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's type dementia.

What Drugs Interact With Aricept?

Aricept may interact with many drugs; tell the physician if you have a history of breathing problems, heart disease, fainting, seizures, GI diseases or urinary problems because they may get worst with this drug. Aricept is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Aricept safety and effectiveness has not been studied in the pediatric population.

What Drugs Interact With Namenda?

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.

How Should Aricept Be Taken?

Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) is available for oral administration in film-coated tablets in doses of 5, 10, or 23 mg of donepezil hydrochloride.

How Should Namenda Be Taken?

Namenda may also interact with antibiotics, antifungals, sulfa drugs, tuberculosis medicines, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, cancer medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, gout or arthritis medications (including gold injections), HIV/AIDS medications, medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, or seizure medications.

Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if:

  • adult takes more than 12 caplets in 24 hours, which is the maximum daily amount
  • child takes more than 5 doses in 24 hours, which is the maximum daily amount
  • taken with other drugs containing acetaminophen
  • adult has 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product.

Do not use

  • with any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription). If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist.
  • if you are allergic to acetaminophen or any of the inactive ingredients in this product

Stop use and ask a doctor if

  • pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days in adults
  • pain gets worse or lasts more than 5 days in children under 12 years
  • fever gets worse or lasts more than 3 days
  • new symptoms occur
  • redness or swelling is present

These could be signs of a serious condition.

If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use.

Keep out of reach of children.

Ask a doctor before use if the user has liver disease

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if the user is taking blood thinning drug warfarin.

Reviewed on 9/11/2018

SOURCE:

Eisai R&D Management Co., Ltd. Aricept Product Information.

http://www.aricept.com/

Allergan. Namenda Product Information.

http://www.namenda.com/

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