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Precautions and Warnings With Memantine

It's important to review precautions and warnings with memantine before starting the medication. You should check with your healthcare provider before taking it if you have a seizure disorder, liver disease, or kidney disease. Since certain medications can interact with memantine, warnings and precautions also include being aware of which medications can cause these potentially negative interactions.

Memantine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking memantine hydrochloride (Namenda®) 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
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Memantine

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking memantine include the following:
  • The medication has not been studied specifically in people with epilepsy or seizures. Since memantine affects brain receptors and chemicals, it could cause problems in people with epilepsy. Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have a seizure disorder.
  • Conditions that decrease the acidity of urine can cause memantine to build up to high levels in the body. Such conditions include severe urinary tract infections and renal tubular acidosis.
  • The liver metabolizes memantine, and the kidneys remove it from the body. Therefore, poor liver or kidney function may increase the level of memantine in the body, potentially increasing the risk of side effects of memantine. Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have liver or kidney disease.
  • Memantine can potentially interact with a few medications (see Drug Interactions With Memantine).
  • Memantine is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Namenda and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known whether memantine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Namenda and Breastfeeding).
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