Namenda is the brand name of the prescription drug memantine, which is used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and severe dementia.
The medicine works by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. It's in a class of drugs known as NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonists.
Namenda is manufactured by Forest Laboratories, Inc., and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010.
Namenda (XR) Extended Release
Forest Laboratories has been criticized for its marketing practices. In 2013, the company announced it would stop selling its existing Namenda tablet and replace it with an extended-release form called Namenda XR, which only needs to be taken once a day instead of twice a day - but Namenda XR also has a longer patent life before generic versions of it can be sold.
Because of this move, New York State's attorney general filed an antitrust lawsuit against Forest, alleging that the company is trying to maintain a monopoly on the drug after its original patent expires.
Namenda may improve awareness, memory, and the ability to perform daily activities, but it doesn't cure Alzheimer's disease. You should continue to take this medicine even if you feel well.
Before taking Namenda, you should tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
- A urinary tract infection
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
You should also tell your physician you are taking Namenda before having any type of surgery or if you have recently changed your diet.