You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- Epilepsy or seizures
- A severe urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Renal tubular acidosis, a kidney disorder
- Any other type of kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Namenda and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Namenda and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Memantine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Memantine 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 works by binding to the NMDA receptor and preventing excessive excitation by glutamate. Currently, no other Alzheimer's medications work like memantine.