Alzheimer’s Drug Namenda to Be Discontinued, Replaced With Namenda XR

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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No more Namenda? Not really, but the shorter-acting form is going away. Forest Laboratories has announced its plan to discontinue the sale of Namenda 5 mg and 10 mg tablets—but not because of any safety or efficacy issues, just because they have a longer-acting form available.

Namenda is an NMDA receptor antagonist approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s dementia. Both the liquid form, Namenda oral solution, and the extended-release capsules, Namenda XR, will continue to be available.

Forest plans to discontinue the sale of Namenda tablets on August 15, 2014, though your pharmacy will be able to dispense them after that date until their supply runs out. Forest is letting doctors know to transition patients to Namenda XR as soon as possible to maintain treatment continuity.

It is an easy one to one switch, so you can stop Namenda one day and start Namenda XR the next day. A patient on a dose of 10mg twice daily of Namenda tablets can be switched to Namenda XR 28mg once daily. It also looks like Namenda XR is the same price (even a little cheaper) than Namenda so it’s good thing all around.

Dr O.

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