Memantine

Memantine

Properties

This psychoactive medicine contains memantine as active ingredient. It belongs to the group of n-methyl-D-aspartate receptor  inhibitors.

Overstimulation of nerve cells in the brain by a chemical called glutamate, which causes nerve degeneration, is thought to be the cause of a number of symptoms characteristic for dementia, including Alzheimer’s  disease.

This medicine blocks the n-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, which decreases the effects of glutamate, but it does not stop the nerve degeneration that is a normal part of Alzheimer’s dementia and other demential processes. Thus the drug is not a cure of Alzheimer’s disease, but can be expected to improve symptoms and delay a patient’s mental decline.

Prescribed for

The drug is prescribed for:

•   Dementia

•   Alzheimer’s disease (moderate to severe)

•   Vascular dementia

•   Dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease

There is no evidence that this medicine reverses the degenerative effects of dementia, but they may slow the rate at which the disease worsens.

Before using this medicine

Before you use this medicine check with your doctor, or  pharmacist:

•    if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to any psychoactive medicine;

•   if you have a heart disease;

•   if you have a gastric ulcer of stomach bleeding;

•   if you have liver problems;

•   if you have kidney insufficiency.

Treatment

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor, to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer period of time than your doctor ordered.

Dosage:The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen.

The usual starting dose is 5 mg once a day at bedtime. The dose is increased weekly in 5 mg increments up to 20 mg a day. Do not increase the dose during this period unless  directed.

Side Effects

Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects.

•    Common side effects include:

Headache

Sleeplessness

Dizziness

Confusion

Constipation

•    Less common and rare side effects include:

Fatigues

Hallucinations

Abnormal dreams

Vomiting

Difficulty breathing

High blood pressure

Back pain

Chest pain

Stroke

Convulsions

Liver failure

Low blood pressure

High blood lipids

Impotence

•   Contact your doctor if you experience any side effects not listed above.

Warnings and Cautions

•    People with kidney disease may retain more of this drug in their bodies. People with severe kidney disease should not use this medicine.

•    Some of this medicine is broken down by the liver. People with  severe liver disease may require lower doses of this medication and should use it with caution. Those with mild or moderate disease may use it without dose adjustment.

•    The drug has not been studied in people with seizure disorders. A very small number of people taking this drug in pharmacological studies had seizures, but the number was similar to that which occurred in people taking a placebo.

•    Patient caregivers who are responsible for ensuring that medicines are taken correctly must understand how this drug is taken and its dosage regimen.

Driving or Hazardous Work

Do not drive until you learn how the medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicines affecting alertness and reflexes.

Interactions

•    Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and bicarbonate of soda can cause the body to eliminate about 80% less of this drug through their kidneys.

•    This medicine does not interfere with the ability of donezepil (Aricept) and other cholinesterase inhibitors to function.

•    Dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines, should be avoided when you are taking this medicine.

•    Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking.

Overdosage

An overdose of this medicine can be very serious. Symptoms include:

•   Restlessness

•   Psychosis

•   Hallucinations

•   Sleepiness

•   Stupor

•   Los of consciousness

Take the overdose victim to a hospital emergency room at once. Always bring the prescription bottle or  container.

Storage

Tablets, capsules, etc. should be stored at room temperature in tightly closed, light-resistant containers as directed by your pharmacist. Keep out of reach of children since overdose is especially dangerous in young children. Do not store in the bathroom medicine cabinet because the heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down. Keep the liquid form of the medicine from freezing.

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