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What Is Memantine XR Used For?

If you have moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease, a healthcare provider may prescribe memantine XR. This medication is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but it can help improve memory, attention, reason, and other areas. There are also off-label uses for memantine XR, such as preventing migraines or treating dementia unrelated to Alzheimer's.

An Introduction to the Uses of Memantine XR

Memantine XR (Namenda XR®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease. It can be used alone or in combination with other types of Alzheimer's medications.
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that affects a person's thought process, memory, and language with no known cause or cure. Common symptoms may include:
  • Memory loss
  • Poor judgment
  • Confusion
  • Deterioration of language skills
  • Impaired ability to understand visual information
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness.
Early signs of Alzheimer's disease are often mistaken for normal, age-related changes. Eventually, the condition destroys a person's ability to think, process information, and function.
The recommended treatment varies, depending on the different stages of Alzheimer's. Medications are usually a key part of the treatment plan.
Memantine XR is not a cure for Alzheimer's, nor does it slow down the progression of the disease or prevent it from occurring. It can, however, help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple daily tasks.

How Does Memantine XR Work?

Memantine XR is classified as an NMDA receptor antagonist. "NMDA" stands for N-methyl-D-asparate. It is thought that some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's may be related to changes in NMDA receptors that allow for abnormal, excessive excitation of the receptors by glutamate (a neurotransmitter brain chemical).
Memantine XR works by binding to the NMDA receptor and preventing excessive excitation by glutamate. Currently, no other Alzheimer's medications work like it, other than the short-acting version, memantine.
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Memantine XR Drug Information

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