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Frequently asked questions

 

Learning About NAMENDA XR

NAMENDA XR targets a different chemical in the brain than other Alzheimer's disease medications. That's why adding NAMENDA XR to an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) is effective—2 different treatments working in 2 different ways to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

Remember that it takes time for any treatment to begin working. When patients are treated with Alzheimer's disease medications, symptoms may:

  • Progress more slowly
  • Remain the same for a period of time
  • Show some improvement for a period of time

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR or an AChEI prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

NAMENDA XR should not be taken by anyone who is allergic (hypersensitive) to memantine, the active substance in NAMENDA XR, or who has had a bad reaction to NAMENDA XR or any of its ingredients.

Adding NAMENDA XR

If your doctor has prescribed only an AChEI for moderate or severe Alzheimer's disease, adding NAMENDA XR may help. In a clinical trial of patients taking AChEIs, adding NAMENDA XR produced benefits in mental function (also called cognition) and overall patient functioning (also called global function, which was based on the doctor's assessment of the patients and interview with the caregiver).

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR or an AChEI prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

There are currently 2 types of prescription medications for Alzheimer's disease. These medications work differently to treat the symptoms of the disease. Often these medications are used together in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

  • One type of medication is thought to work by slowing the breakdown of a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. This chemical is involved in learning and memory. This type of medication is called an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI). Examples of this medication include Aricept® (donepezil)*, Razadyne® (galantamine HBr), and Exelon® (rivastigmine)
  • Another type of Alzheimer's disease medication may help regulate the abnormal activity of glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is another chemical in the brain that is important for learning and memory. NAMENDA XR is a once-a-day medication of this type approved for moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, which can be used alone or added to ongoing AChEI therapy

Because the 2 types of medication work in different ways, taking them together may be helpful—this is called combination therapy.

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR or an AChEI prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

*ARICEPT is a registered trademark of Eisai Co., Ltd.
RAZADYNE is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson.
EXELON is a registered trademark of Novartis AG Corp.

Speaking with the Doctor

Before starting NAMENDA XR, talk to the doctor about all of your loved one's past and present medical conditions, including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Liver, kidney, or bladder problems

If your loved one is taking other medications (including those without a prescription), ask the doctor if NAMENDA XR is right for the patient.

  • Certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of NAMENDA XR in the body and possibly increase side effects

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects associated with NAMENDA XR treatment are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. A complete list of side effects can be found  here.

Dosing

If your loved one skips a dose of NAMENDA XR, do not double up on the next dose. Take only the next dose as scheduled. If the person you care for has forgotten to take NAMENDA XR for several days, do not administer the next dose until you have talked to the doctor.

If you're having a hard time getting your loved one to take his or her medication, speak to the doctor for advice.

Understanding Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. It is a progressive disease. This means it gets worse over time and continues to progress for the rest of a person's life. That's why it is important to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease sooner rather than later and discuss treatment options with a doctor.

The disease progresses at different rates in different people. Generally, patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease experience the fastest rate of decline. As a caregiver, you know the person you're caring for better than anyone. Tell the doctor if you notice any changes in symptoms. As the disease progresses, the doctor might talk about the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease as occurring in moderate and severe stages.

For moderate stage Alzheimer's disease the symptoms include:

  • More memory loss and confusion
  • Problems recognizing family and friends
  • Continuously repeating stories, favorite words, or motions
  • Difficulty doing things that have multiple steps, like getting dressed
  • Lack of concern for hygiene and appearance

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, seniors covered by Medicare can have an annual wellness visit with no out-of-pocket costs. This includes a review of their:

  • Ability to do everyday tasks
  • Level of safety
  • Mental status, including speech, memory, and behavior
  • Current medications

For those eligible for Medicare, the Medicare wellness visit is a chance for you and the doctor to create or update a plan for your loved one at no cost. Ask your doctor for more details.

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Important Risk Information
Who should NOT take NAMENDA XR?

NAMENDA XR should not be taken by anyone who is allergic (hypersensitive) to memantine, the active substance in NAMENDA XR, or who has had a bad reaction to NAMENDA XR or any of its ingredients.

What should be discussed with the healthcare provider before taking NAMENDA XR?

Before starting NAMENDA XR, talk to the healthcare provider about all of the patient's past and present medical conditions, including:

If the patient is taking other medications (including those without a prescription), ask the healthcare provider if NAMENDA XR is right for the patient.

What are the possible side effects of NAMENDA XR?

The most common side effects associated with NAMENDA XR treatment are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. This is not a complete list of side effects.

Indication

NAMENDA XR extended-release capsules are approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. NAMENDA XR is available by prescription only.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.