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 due to Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.

Exelon (rivastigmine) relieves the symptoms of dementia, but doesn't stop or reverse progression of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

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
  • Exelon (rivastigmine) improves behavior disorders related to Alzheimer's disease.
  • The patch causes less stomach issues than the pill form of other medicines that work similarly.
  • Available in cheaper, generic versions.
  • 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
  • Doesn't stop or reverse the natural progression of disease.
  • Only works for mild to moderate disease.
  • The patch can cause skin irritation.
  • The twice daily dosing schedule may be inconvenient when compared to other medicines for dementia.
  • 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
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
24possible side effects
  • Nausea
    47%
  • Vomiting
    31%
  • Dizziness
    21%
  • Diarrhea
    19%
  • Headache
    17%
  • Loss of appetite
    17%
  • Abdominal pain
    13%
  • Fatigue
    9%
  • Upset stomach
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Confusion
    8%
  • Urinary tract infection
    7%
  • Lack of energy
    6%
  • Depression
    6%
  • Feeling of discomfort
    5%
  • Sleepiness
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Sweating
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Hallucination
    4%
  • Fainting
    3%
  • Weight loss
    3%
  • High blood pressure
    3%
  • Aggressive behavior
    3%
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
  • Stomach problems
    • Capsule form of Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Muscle tremors
    • Parkinson's disease
  • Stomach ulcers
    • History of ulcer disease
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Changes in heart rate
    • Sick sinus syndrome
    • Heart rhythm problems
  • Driving impairment
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