Memantine review

Memantine is a drug belonging to a group of medications referred to as NMDA receptor antagonists. These are drugs that decrease the abnormal activity occurring in the brain that result to brain disorders particularly the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease.

Memantine is available under the brand names Namenda and Namenda Titration Pak. It is administered to adults suffering from mild to serious cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Mild case of the disease is characterized by patients being forgetful despite them remaining alert and sociable. Moderate case is characterized by deterioration of logic, intellect and behavior and usually considered as the longest stage of the ailment. Serious case of the ailment is characterized by long term memory loss and deterioration of language skills.

This drug is usually given with a dose of 5 mg taken once a day. The dosage is then increased with 5 mg taken twice a day. Patients may also be prescribed to take 5 and 10 mg taken on separate occasions in the day, or 10 mg taken twice during the day. This medication can be taken on an empty stomach.

It is recommended that memantine is taken during the same time each day. Patients should follow the directions given by the physician to get the most benefit from this medication.

Some of the side effects that patients may experience from the use of memantine are extreme tiredness, sleepiness, confusion, headache, and constipation. Patients may also suffer from pain the body especially on the back. Patients who use this medication may also experience constipation, vomiting, and incessant coughing. In case any of these side effects persists, it is recommended that a patient immediately consult a doctor.

There are also some serious types of side effects that patients may suffer from the use of memantine. These include hallucination and difficulty in breathing. Patients should immediately seek medical help after experience any of these side effects.

Before taking this drug, patients should inform their doctors or pharmacist of their history of allergies. This medication’s effectiveness may be affected by medicines that enable urine to be more alkaline such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors like cetazolamide (Diamox). Use of these drugs can also increase one’s blood levels and increase the risks of side effects caused by memantine.

Patients should also tell about their medical history especially those who have had liver disease, kidney disease, and serious urinary tract infections. This medication can make patients dizzy so there should be caution in engaging in taxing activities particularly those requiring mental alertness like driving and operating machinery.

Those who take memantine should also limit the intake of alcoholic beverages as it can have an effect on the medication. This medication is not recommended to those who are pregnant unless it is clearly needed. Doctors should first discuss the benefits and risks of memantine on pregnant women before prescribing this drug. There is no clear indication yet whether this drug can be passed on to infants through breastfeeding.

Memantine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of memantine

• Molecular formula of memantine is C12H21N
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 3,5-dimethyladamantan-1-amine
• Molecular weight is 179.302 g/mol
Memantine available : 5mg tablets and 10mg tablets

Brand name(s): Ebixa, Memantina, Memantinum, Namenda

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