Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Namenda Alternatives

(Memantine)

  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
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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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Side effects
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • Headache 3%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Constipation 2%
  • High blood pressure 2%
  • Pain 2%
  • Coughing 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Shortness of breath 1%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Hallucination 1%
More Namenda side effects »
  • Nausea 13%
  • Diarrhea 10%
  • Sleep difficulty 8%
  • Muscle cramps 6%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Fatigue 5%
  • Loss of appetite 5%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Weight decrease 2%
  • Accident 1%
More Aricept side effects »
  • Nausea 35%
  • Vomiting 25%
  • Tremor 19%
  • Loss of appetite 14%
  • Any side effect 13%
  • Dizziness 10%
  • Diarrhea 8%
  • Abdominal pain 7%
  • Headache 5%
  • 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
Anti-Alzheimer's
NMDA blocker
Prescription only
Anti-Alzheimer's
Cholinesterase inhibitor
Prescription only
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
Cholinesterase inhibitor
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • Alzheimer's disease - Dementia (Mild to Moderate)
Risk factors for serious side effects
NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
  • History of seizures
    Detailed Namenda (Memantine) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
    Pregnancy category
    NamendaAriceptExelonRazadyne
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.
    • Take Aricept (Donepezil) in the evening or before going to bed. Can be taken with or without food.
    • 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 specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    • Let your doctor know if you get serious stomach problems, issues with movement (tremor), or weight loss.
    No specific 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
    More about AriceptSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    More about ExelonSide effectsFDA package insert
    More about RazadyneSide effectsFDA package insert