Compare Exelon vs. Namenda

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Exelon (Rivastigmine)

Prescription only

Namenda (memantine)

Prescription only
Treats dementia.

Exelon (Rivastigmine) works for all stages of dementia caused by Alzheimer's, and the oral version is cheaper than the patch.

Slows progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Namenda (memantine) can slow the progression of symptoms in moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease, but cannot cure it.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Available in different formulations for easy administration.
  • Available in a cheap, generic version.
  • Compared to alternatives that treat Alzheimer's disease, Namenda (memantine) has less side-effects.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Namenda (memantine) doesn't stop or reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Doesn't work as well in early stages of Alzheimer's.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Anorexia
    3%
  • Dizziness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
13possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Confusion
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • High blood pressure
    4%
  • Coughing
    4%
  • Pain
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Back pain
    3%
  • Sleepiness
    3%
  • Hallucination
    3%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Difficulty breathing
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Nausea and vomiting | Weight loss
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Muscle tremors
    • Parkinson's disease
  • Ulcers | Bleeding in the stomach
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher risk of side effects from Namenda (memantine)
    • Taking certain medicines
    • Kidney problems
    • Those with severe urinary tract infections
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
See more detailed risks and warnings