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    Information about Memantine

    Memantine uses

    Memantine is used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It should be used in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

    How memantine works

    Memantine is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. Memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease is due to excessive production of glutamate (chemical messenger) in the brain which is mediated by NMDA receptors. Memantine works by preventing the action of NMDA receptors and regulates the production of glutamate.  involved in the transmission of nerve signals. This is how it prevents memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease.

    Common side effects of memantine

    Dizziness, Headache, Confusion, Sleepiness, Diarrhea, Abnormal liver function tests, Balance disorder (loss of balance), Shortness of breath, Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure), Hypersensitivity
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Swati Mishra
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Khushbu Goel
    DM, MD
    Last updated on:
    16 Oct 2019 | 01:30 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

    Available Medicine for Memantine

    • ₹62 to ₹176
      Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
      6 variant(s)
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      Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      2 variant(s)
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      2 variant(s)
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      Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd
      2 variant(s)

    Expert advice for Memantine

    • You have been prescribed Memantine to slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
    • It is well tolerated and has lesser side effects as compared to other similar medicines.
    • Be cautious while driving or doing anything that requires concentration until you know how Memantine affects you.
    • Inform your doctor if you have a history of seizures, kidney disease, heart disease, or liver disease.
    • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to conceive, or breastfeeding.

    Frequently asked questions for Memantine


    Q. Does Memantine have abuse potential?

    No, Memantine does not have abuse potential. On the contrary, it may prevent excess use of addictive drugs such as morphine or ethanol.

    Q. What is dementia?

    Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform everyday activities. Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia which contributes to around 60 to 70% of cases.

    Q. What are the symptoms of overdosage of Memantine?

    The symptoms which can be observed due to an overdose of Memantine include tiredness, weakness, drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, and/or vomiting. Some may also experience diarrhea, vertigo, agitation, aggression, and walking difficulty.

    Q. Can Memantine be combined with donepezil?

    Yes, Memantine can be combined with donepezil, as there will be no increased adverse effects. However, this combination will not cure Alzheimer's, but it can only improve thinking ability, short term memory, and other related symptoms.

    Q. Does Memantine have any interaction with cardiac medicines?

    Yes, Memantine may interfere with the working of hydrochlorothiazide (HCT). It decreases the levels of HCT which will reduce the effectiveness of HCT. Also, procainamide and quinidine may increase levels of Memantine which may cause increased toxicity.

    Q. How does Memantine affect a person with dementia?

    Memantine belongs to a class of medications called N-methyl-D- aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists. It works by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. Memantine may improve the ability to think and remember. It may also reduce the deterioration of these abilities in people who have Alzheimer's disease. However, with time the effectiveness of this medicine will reduce and it may not be able to cure Alzheimer's disease or prevent the loss of these abilities.

    Q. When and how Memantine should be taken?

    Memantine should be taken orally once a day. To benefit from your medicine you should take it regularly every day at the same time of the day. The tablets should be swallowed with some water. The tablets can be taken with or without food.

    Q. Can I just stop taking Memantine?

    No, Memantine should not be stopped even if you feel well. This medicine only helps to control the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease but does not cure it. If you need to stop the medication then doctor should be consulted first.

    Q. Can Memantine improve memory?

    Memantine belongs to a group of medicines called NMDA receptor antagonists. NMDA receptors are involved in the transmission of nerve signals within the brain such as in learning and memory. This medicine works by protecting NMDA receptors in the brain against high levels of the chemical glutamate, which could be the cause of brain degeneration. By doing so, Memantine may eventually improve your thinking capacity and your ability to remember.

    Q. How long does it take for Memantine to start working?

    For Memantine to start working and show its full benefits, it may require between 3 and 8 hours. The doctor may require a follow-up clinical assessment to check the progress after 4 weeks and then 6 months after the first assessment.

    Q. Does Memantine make you sleepy?

    Yes, Memantine may make you sleepy. Memantine has minor to moderate influence on the ability to drive and usage of machines. In such cases, outpatients should be warned to take special care.

    Content on this page was last updated on 16 October, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)