Memantine – Use | Dose | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on Thu, 27 Dec 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Memantine belongs to the group of medicines used for the treatment of dementia, especially in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Patients with Alzheimer's disease is characterized by loss of memory. It works by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the brain.

Those receptors are responsible for memory and learning. That's how it improves the transmission of signals to the brain and memory. Thus, this medicine in patients with Alzheimer's disease makes it easier to carry out your daily activities. However, it can not cure Alzheimer's disease, it only makes life easier for these patients.


It should not be used or can be used only with great caution in the following conditions:

  • Allergic to memantine or other similar medicines. If you notice symptoms of allergies such as:
    • skin rash,
    • itching,
    • redness,
    • swelling of the face,
    • swelling of the tongue,
    • swelling of the throat,
    • difficulty breathing, immediately contact your doctor. An allergy can lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal!
  • Liver damage or kidney damage.
  • If you suffer from epilepsy/seizures.
  • If you have suffered heart attack.
  • If you are on a diet (especially if you're a vegetarian)
  • Severe infection of the urinary tract.
  • Younger than 18 age.

Use during pregnancy and lactation

It is not recommended to use this drug during pregnancy or during lactation, although there are no data on the use of memantine during pregnancy and lactation. However, it can be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the fetus.

Use and Dose

The usual dose is memantine 20 mg of per day, used once a day. The starting dose is usually smaller and should be gradually increasing, in order to avoid the occurrence of adverse effects.

The usual scheme of memantine dosage is as follows:

  • 1 Week: 5 mg once daily
  • 2 Week: 10 mg once daily
  • 3 Week: 15 mg once daily
  • 4 Week: 20 mg once daily

If you are using in the form of memantine syrup then you should use the following scheme:

  • 1 Week: 10 drops
  • 2 Week: 20 drops
  • 3 Week: 30 drops
  • 4 Week: 40 drops

Memantine is used once daily, with or without food and with a little water. Make sure that you are taking this remedy always at the same time of day. In patients with impaired renal or liver function it is necessary to adjust the dose.

Talk to your doctor about the dosage that will suit you. It is very important that you tell your doctor if you have modified diet (if you are vegetarian), because in this case you must change the dose of memantine.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

Memantine should not be used or can be used, only with great caution with the following medications:

  • Amantadine, a medicine used to treat Parkinson's disease. Amantadine has the same mechanism of action as well as memantine, and concurrent use of these two medications is not recommended.
  • Anticoagulant medications such as:
    • warfarin (Farin),
    • acenocoumarol,
    • heparin,
    • nadroparin (Fraxiparin) and others. Concurrent use of memantine with these medications increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Cough medications containing dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan has the same mechanism of action as well as memantine and is not recommended simultaneous use of these two medicines.
  • Drugs used in the treatment of glaucoma, such as
    • acetazolamide,
    • methazolamide and other.
  • Medications used in the treatment of epilepsy including barbiturates.
  • Drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease such as:
    • levodopa,
    • bromocriptine and others.
  • Medications used in the treatment of stomach ulcers such as ranitidine.
  • Medications used in the treatment of high blood pressure such as hydrochlorothiazide.

Memantine Side effects

Memantine may cause the following side effects:

  1. itching,
  2. constipation,
  3. dizziness,
  4. headache,
  5. high blood pressure,
  6. diarrhea,
  7. vomiting,
  8. trouble breathing,
  9. mood changes,
  10. hallucinations,
  11. convulsions (seizures),
  12. blurred vision,
  13. fatigue,
  14. thrombus formation and other.

Memantine, like all other medicines, can cause an allergic reaction:

  • rash,
  • itching of the skin,
  • swelling of the tongue,
  • swelling of the face,
  • swelling of the throat and trouble breathing. An allergic reaction can also cause anaphylactic shock. If you notice any side effects, contact your doctor.

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.