Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableDrug class: Neurology

Namenda Alternatives

(Memantine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableDrug class: Neurology
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Compare Namenda (Memantine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Namenda (Memantine) or used for similar purposes.

Namenda
(Memantine)

Aricept
(Donepezil)

Exelon
(Rivastigmine)

Razadyne
(Galantamine)

Treats dementia. Namenda (Memantine) is one of the few medications that can be used to treat moderate to severe dementia caused by Alzheimer's.Treats dementia. Aricept (Donepezil) works for all stages of dementia caused by Alzheimer's, but it can be expensive.Treats dementia. Exelon (Rivastigmine) works for all stages of dementia caused by Alzheimer's, and the oral version is cheaper than the patch.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Namenda (Memantine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Aricept (Donepezil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Exelon (Rivastigmine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Razadyne (Galantamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Headache 3%
  • Confusion 1%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Coughing 1%
  • High blood pressure 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Vomiting 1%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Hallucination 1%
More Namenda side effects »
  • Any side effect 13%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Muscle cramps 4%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Loss of appetite 1%
  • Headache 1%
  • Pain, various locations 1%
More Aricept side effects »
  • Any side effect 10%
  • Nausea 8%
  • Vomiting 4%
  • Loss of appetite 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Diarrhea 8%
  • Headache 5%
  • Abdominal pain 7%
  • Sleep difficulty 2%
  • Indigestion 5%
More Exelon side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Razadyne side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Razadyne »
How it works
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
Namenda (Memantine) is an NMDA receptor antagonist. Researchers don't know exactly how it helps treat Alzheimer's disease, but it blocks an amino acid called glutamine, which seems to protect nerves from overstimulation.Aricept (Donepezil) is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Researchers don't know exactly how it helps treat Alzheimer's disease, but it prevents acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain, from being broken down too quickly. Acetylcholine is important in transmitting signals through nerves, a process that breaks down in Alzheimer's.Exelon (Rivastigmine) is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Researchers don't know exactly how it helps treat Alzheimer's disease, but it prevents acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain, from being broken down too quickly. Acetylcholine is important in transmitting signals through nerves, a process that breaks down in Alzheimer's.Coming soon.
Type of medication
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • Alzheimers Disease Dementia Mild To Moderate
Risk factors for serious side effects
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • History of seizures
    Detailed Namenda (Memantine) risks & warnings »
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
        Detailed Aricept (Donepezil) risks & warnings »
            • Parkinson's disease
            • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
            Detailed Exelon (Rivastigmine) risks & warnings »
            Coming soon.
            Pregnancy

            Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

            Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            Food
            NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
            No food related info.No food related info.
            • If using the oral solution, take it after meals to prevent an upset stomach. It can be mixed with cold water, juice, or soda.
            No food related info.
            Weight
            NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
            No weight related info.
            • People on Aricept (Donepezil) have reported weight loss. This is common. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor.
            • People on Exelon (Rivastigmine) have reported nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite and weight loss. This usually happens when the medication is first started and when there are changes in the dose. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern, especially if you have to stop taking the medication for more than 3 days.
            No weight related info.
            Upsides and benefits
            NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
            • Only used to treat moderate to severe dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.
            • It's available as an immediate-release tablet, a solution, and an extended-release tablet.
            • Can cause fewer side effects than other medicines used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
            • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
            • Aricept (Donepezil) can be used to treat dementia caused by all stages of Alzheimer's.
            • It can be effective for treating behavioral problems related to dementia.
            • Available in three different forms: immediate release solution, a tablet, and an orally disintegrating tablet.
            • Can be used to treat dementia caused by all stages of Alzheimer's disease.
            • Exelon (Rivastigmine) slows the progression of Alzheimer's, including the person's cognitive function and ability to perform the usual daily living activities.
            • It also improves behavior disorders related to Alzheimer's.
            • Exelon (Rivastigmine) is available as a patch. This form causes fewer stomach problems (like nausea or vomiting).
            • The oral capsules are available as a generic medication.
            Coming soon
            Downsides and risks
            NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
            • Like other medications for dementia, it only slows down the progression of the disease; it doesn't stop or reverse it.
            • Only available as a brand name medication, so it can be expensive.
            • Like other medications for dementia, it only slows down the progression of the disease; it doesn't stop or reverse it.
            • Aricept (Donepezil) is not a good choice for people with heart problems or a slow heart rate. It can slow the heart rate down and cause dizziness or fainting.
            • Like other medications for dementia, it only slows down the progression of the disease, but it doesn't stop or reverse it.
            • You need to take the oral capsules twice a day.
            • The patches are brand name only, so they can be expensive.
            Coming soon
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
            • Namenda (Memantine) XR capsules can be swallowed whole and shouldn't be chewed or crushed. But they can be opened and sprinkled in a small amount of applesauce.
            • If using the oral solution, use the dosing device that comes with the medication. Slowly squirt the dose into the corner of mouth and don't mix it with any other liquids.
            • Namenda (Memantine) can cause dizziness, headache, or constipation.
            • If you've missed several doses in a row, you'll need to call your doctor about restarting the medication properly again.
            • Take Aricept (Donepezil) in the evening or before going to bed. Can be taken with or without food.
            • Can cause increased stomach acid (and possibly heartburn), especially if you're also taking anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs.
            • Can cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
            • If you're taking the orally disintegrating tablet (ODT), place it on your tongue and let it dissolve, then drink a full cup of water.
            • The oral tablet shouldn’t be split, crushed, or chewed.
            • If you've missed seven doses in a row, you'll need to call your doctor about restarting the medication properly again.
            • Exelon (Rivastigmine) can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
            • Avoid activities that require full mental attention until you know how the drug affects you.
            • Let your doctor know if you get serious stomach problems, issues with movement (tremor), or weight loss.
            • If using the patch, make sure you know how to apply it. To prevent skin irritation, change the location of the patch every day.
            • If using the oral solution, take it after meals to prevent an upset stomach. It can be mixed with cold water, juice, or soda.
            Coming soon
            Learn more
            More about NamendaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            Have you used Namenda (Memantine)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it
            More about AriceptSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
            Have you used Aricept (Donepezil)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it
            More about ExelonSide effectsFDA package insert
            Have you used Exelon (Rivastigmine)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it
            More about RazadyneSide effectsFDA package insert
            Have you used Razadyne (Galantamine)?
            Worth itNot sureNot worth it