New Alzheimer’s Med Namzaric Approved

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Namzaric (memantine/donepezil) is a new combination drug approved on December 24, 2014 for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer type (Alzheimer’s disease) in patients already taking Namenda XR (memantine) and Aricept (donepezil).

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease involves a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to affect daily activities. It is a progressive disease that follows three stages: mild, moderate, and severe. Unfortunately, no matter what medications are prescribed to help with Alzheimer’s symptoms, eventually the disease will get worse.

Are there any medications that can cure Alzheimer’s disease?

No. Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure or medication that can stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The focus of current treatment regimens is to improve symptoms such as function and understanding.

How will Namzaric be prescribed?
Namzaric will be available as a capsule in two strengths: 14 mg/10 mg and 28 mg/10 mg.

It is to be taken once daily, and is intended for patients who are currently taking Aricept 10 mg in combination with one of the following:

Are there any advantages to taking Namzaric compared to Namenda XR and Aricept separately?

Yes. One big advantage is compliance, meaning you or your loved one will be more likely to take the medication as prescribed.

Namenda XR (memantine hydrochloride) and Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) complement one another and are often used together for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Combining both medications into one capsule will hopefully decrease the amount of pills a patient takes on a daily basis and increase their willingness to use the medication.

The second advantage of taking Namzaric is dosing, or how you take the medication.

Namzaric capsules can be opened and the contents can be sprinkled on food. This flexibility is important for patients who may have difficulty swallowing (one symptom of Alzheimer’s disease).

When will Namzaric be available to patients?

According to the manufacturer, Namzaric is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2015.

Want more information?

Check out the manufacturer’s press release about the approval here.

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