Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Neurology

Namenda Alternatives

(memantine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: 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 Alzheimer's disease. Aricept (donepezil) works for all stages of Alzheimer's, and most forms of it are available in generic.Treats dementia. Exelon (Rivastigmine) works for all stages of dementia caused by Alzheimer's, and the oral version is cheaper than the patch.Treats Alzheimer's disease. Razadyne (galantamine) is a first choice medicine to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, but not everyone responds to it.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Namenda (memantine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Aricept
43%
-23% worse vs. Namenda
19%
+21% better vs. Namenda
14%
+14% better vs. Namenda
Have you used Aricept (donepezil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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

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

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Have you used Razadyne (galantamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
  • 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 »
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Muscle cramps 4%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Loss of appetite 1%
  • Headache 1%
  • Pain, various locations 1%
  • Dizziness 2%
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 »
  • Nausea 15%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • Loss of appetite 5%
  • Weight loss 3%
  • Low mood disorder 2%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
More galantamine side effects »
How it works
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
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.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.Razadyne (galantamine) raises the amount of acetylcholine in the brain, which is lower in people with Alzheimer's.
Type of medication
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
  • Liquid
Used for
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
Risk factors for serious side effects
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
  • History of seizures
Detailed Namenda (memantine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • History of ulcer disease
  • Taking high doses of Aricept (donepezil)
  • Weighing less than 55 kg (110 lbs)
Detailed Aricept (donepezil) risks & warnings »
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
Detailed Exelon (rivastigmine) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
Detailed Razadyne (galantamine) risks & warnings »
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 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
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
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.
  • Take Razadyne (galantamine) with food so you don’t get an upset stomach.
Weight
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
No weight related info.
  • Aricept (donepezil) can cause weight loss, especially if you're taking higher doses. 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
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
  • 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 as a dissolving pill if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Available as generic.
  • 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.
  • Razadyne (galantamine) comes in different forms, including liquid, pills, and extended release capsules.
  • Razadyne (galantamine) is available as generic.
Downsides and risks
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
  • Like other medications for dementia, it only slows down the progression of the disease; it doesn't stop or reverse it.
  • Like other drugs for Alzheimer's dementia, it does not cure Alzheimer's, but may help with brain function and doing daily activities.
  • 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.
  • The higher the dose of Aricept (donepezil), the more likely you can experience nausea and vomiting.
  • 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.
  • If you miss doses of Razadyne (galantamine) for more than 3 days, you have to talk to your doctor since you might have to start taking it over again from the original smallest dose.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NamendaAriceptExelongalantamine
  • 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.
  • Aricept (donepezil) can cause ulcers and gut bleeding, especially those who also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
  • 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 miss a dose, skip it and take the next dose at your regular time. 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.
  • Take Razadyne (galantamine) exactly how your doctor or pharmacist tells you. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's time for your next dose. Don't take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Drink plenty of fluids since Razadyne (galantamine) can dry you out.
  • Take Razadyne (galantamine) with food so you don’t get an upset stomach.
  • Store the liquid form of Razadyne (galantamine) in your pantry, away from light. Don't leave it in the refrigerator or freezer, or in your bathroom's medicine cabinet.
  • Razadyne (galantamine) will slow down Alzheimer's disease; it will not stop or cure it.
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 galantamineSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Razadyne (galantamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it