FDA Approves Forest Labs' Namenda

Namenda reduces the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Namenda is used to treat moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type.

Memantine is used to treat moderate to severe confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer's disease. It does not cure Alzheimer's disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to perform daily functions. This medication works by blocking the action of a certain natural substance in the brain (glutamate) that is believed to be linked to symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

What It Is:

One of the newer drugs used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Namenda is FDA-approved for moderate and severe stages of the disease.

How It Works:

In technical terms, Namenda is an N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist that regulates the activity of glutamate in the brain. Glutamate plays a key role in memory and learning, but excess glutamate can lead to the disruption of nerve cell communication or nerve cell death.

Effectiveness:

Studies involving Namenda have shown that the drug can slow the rate of decline in thinking and the ability to perform daily activities in individuals who have moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. For many, the improvement is minimal, yet worthwhile.

Namenda® (memantine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to severe dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease. It is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but can help slow down the worsening of Alzheimer's symptoms.