Side effects of Memantine

Ridout

New member
Oct 16, 2023
6
0
Hi. My husband has middle stage Alzheimer's. He has Rivastigmine patches to the maximum 13mg dose and has recently been prescribed Memantine as well. We are only on week one - so a low dose to build up to higher levels, but this seems to be knocking him for six. Within a short time of taking the tablet each morning he is feeling very woozy / dizzy and then falls asleep for a couple of hours. He also seems to have lost his appetite. If this is after a 5mg dose, I'm not sure how he will ever cope with the 20mg 'normal' dose. Ironically though I would say that after only 5 days of this low dose he is more aware of some things. Does anyone else have experience of this where the side effect situation has improved with time? Thanks
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
22,627
0
Southampton
Hi. My husband has middle stage Alzheimer's. He has Rivastigmine patches to the maximum 13mg dose and has recently been prescribed Memantine as well. We are only on week one - so a low dose to build up to higher levels, but this seems to be knocking him for six. Within a short time of taking the tablet each morning he is feeling very woozy / dizzy and then falls asleep for a couple of hours. He also seems to have lost his appetite. If this is after a 5mg dose, I'm not sure how he will ever cope with the 20mg 'normal' dose. Ironically though I would say that after only 5 days of this low dose he is more aware of some things. Does anyone else have experience of this where the side effect situation has improved with time? Thanks
mine takes his at night as he says it makes him sleepy. he went up the doses to 20mg and has been fine but he doesnt take rivastigmine. maybe check with the doctor that they are not reacting and clashing with each other
 

Ridout

New member
Oct 16, 2023
6
0
mine takes his at night as he says it makes him sleepy. he went up the doses to 20mg and has been fine but he doesnt take rivastigmine. maybe check with the doctor that they are not reacting and clashing with each other
Thank you. Did think about night time but am slightly reluctant as when he sleeps too deeply there are sometimes accidents. But we may have to risk that if it continues. Apparently it is supposed to be ok with the Rivastigmine, so hopefully not the combo effect but will talk to doctor if symptoms continue.
 

wurrienot

Registered User
Jul 25, 2023
153
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Dad slept almost constantly when taking Memantine. They put him on half dose for a while but tbh, as soon as he had the 5mg starter tablet, he just slept. We tried taking it at different times but there was no change in the sleeping. He's now been taken off it completely.
 

Ridout

New member
Oct 16, 2023
6
0
Very interesting thank you. The consultant mentioned headaches and constipation as being the main possible side effects but I suppose everyone reacts differently. We will persevere for a bit longer but maybe it won't be possible. Thank you.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,155
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Memintine are best taken at night. My husband also takes them along with the patches and has not had any issues.
I would suggest speaking to his GP or consultant if you have any concerns.
 

Defiance

Registered User
Aug 17, 2022
26
0
I can only tolerate 10mg of memantine as any higher makes me feel like **** and I take it at night. It has worked well for me at present and I hope it keeps it up. All the very best to you.
 

Ridout

New member
Oct 16, 2023
6
0
Memintine are best taken at night. My husband also takes them along with the patches and has not had any issues.
I would suggest speaking to his GP or consultant if you have any concerns.
Thank you. Seems like we should try switching to nighttime and see if that is better.
 

Ridout

New member
Oct 16, 2023
6
0
I can only tolerate 10mg of memantine as any higher makes me feel like **** and I take it at night. It has worked well for me at present and I hope it keeps it up. All the very best to you.
Thank you. Am pleased to hear it is working well for you.
 

smithdee

Registered User
Oct 19, 2023
24
0
Hi. My husband has middle stage Alzheimer's. He has Rivastigmine patches to the maximum 13mg dose and has recently been prescribed Memantine as well. We are only on week one - so a low dose to build up to higher levels, but this seems to be knocking him for six. Within a short time of taking the tablet each morning he is feeling very woozy / dizzy and then falls asleep for a couple of hours. He also seems to have lost his appetite. If this is after a 5mg dose, I'm not sure how he will ever cope with the 20mg 'normal' dose. Ironically though I would say that after only 5 days of this low dose he is more aware of some things. Does anyone else have experience of this where the side effect situation has improved with time? Thanks
My dad is on the highest dose of this and takes it before bed, which usually works better as the dizziness affects his mobility. He slept a lot before he started on this, but since taking it he sleeps almost all day every day now.
 

Ridout

New member
Oct 16, 2023
6
0
Thank you for replying. We have swapped to taking it in the evening but my husband is still sleeping a lot more than before in the day, so it is interesting to hear that has happened to your dad. Agree about the dizziness affecting mobility. I suppose it is a question of weighing up whether the benefits outweigh the side effects, which will be different for everyone of course. Still early days for us so will keep going a bit longer. Thank you.
 

Eddcorner

Registered User
Aug 27, 2020
1,504
0
Hi. My husband has middle stage Alzheimer's. He has Rivastigmine patches to the maximum 13mg dose and has recently been prescribed Memantine as well. We are only on week one - so a low dose to build up to higher levels, but this seems to be knocking him for six. Within a short time of taking the tablet each morning he is feeling very woozy / dizzy and then falls asleep for a couple of hours. He also seems to have lost his appetite. If this is after a 5mg dose, I'm not sure how he will ever cope with the 20mg 'normal' dose. Ironically though I would say that after only 5 days of this low dose he is more aware of some things. Does anyone else have experience of this where the side effect situation has improved with time? Thanks
I think we were advised to administer mum's memantine prior to bedtime as it can knock you out so to speak. Talking to others we found this to be a consistent message from prescribers across the board. Hope this helps :)
 

TessB

Registered User
Nov 14, 2023
52
0
I think we were advised to administer mum's memantine prior to bedtime as it can knock you out so to speak. Talking to others we found this to be a consistent message from prescribers across the board. Hope this helps :)
My mum is on Donepezil and Memantine. When in respite, the care home were giving them in the morning so they had time to keep going back to get mum to take them (mum would often refuse her meds). I queried it with the doctor and was told it was fine to give them both in the morning. Yet previously, before mum was on Memantine, another doctor told me Donepezil was usually given at night. The memory clinic nurse told me the main risks with Memantine were constipation and falls.
 

Eddcorner

Registered User
Aug 27, 2020
1,504
0
My mum is on Donepezil and Memantine. When in respite, the care home were giving them in the morning so they had time to keep going back to get mum to take them (mum would often refuse her meds). I queried it with the doctor and was told it was fine to give them both in the morning. Yet previously, before mum was on Memantine, another doctor told me Donepezil was usually given at night. The memory clinic nurse told me the main risks with Memantine were constipation and falls.
Hi @TessB :)

The obvious conclusion I would draw from clinicians administering/prescribing memantine in the morning would be if it knocks you sideways sleep-wise the risk of falls would be greater during the day as a consequence? Strange one and having had some experience of working in the field (in a past life 😉) you'd think common sense might prevail in this instance! If it was me in receipt of such meds I don't think I'd like to be zombied out either!!

I suppose there might be some valid prescribing reason... but what I can vouch for is that for my mum giving it at night works well.
 

Eddcorner

Registered User
Aug 27, 2020
1,504
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my husband has it at night as well as he says it makes him sleepy. hes had no problems with it.
I agree. Giving it at night means it's still in your system and doing the job, I believe that helping mum drift off at bedtime is a positive. I can't get my head around why it would be beneficial to knock someone out during the day 🤔
 

Kath610

Registered User
Apr 6, 2022
194
0
Maldon, Essex
Hi. My husband has middle stage Alzheimer's. He has Rivastigmine patches to the maximum 13mg dose and has recently been prescribed Memantine as well. We are only on week one - so a low dose to build up to higher levels, but this seems to be knocking him for six. Within a short time of taking the tablet each morning he is feeling very woozy / dizzy and then falls asleep for a couple of hours. He also seems to have lost his appetite. If this is after a 5mg dose, I'm not sure how he will ever cope with the 20mg 'normal' dose. Ironically though I would say that after only 5 days of this low dose he is more aware of some things. Does anyone else have experience of this where the side effect situation has improved with time? Thanks
This is interesting - my husband has started taking Memantine, the dose is now up to 15mg and he takes it in the morning alongside the Donepezil which he has been taking since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in February 2022. No-one ever advised when it should be taken so he has it each morning when we do his blood sugar and insulin. There don't seem to be any side effects so far
I thought the Memantine was working wonderfully until today - the rages, threats and verbal abuse had died down almost completely. However this morning he had a massive spell of aggression, shouting at me, threatening violence and trying to make me leave. It was like going back to square one.
I have found out from this forum that Donepezil can cause this - should I ask the doctor if it should be phased out? And is there a best time to take Memantine?
 

Defiance

Registered User
Aug 17, 2022
26
0
This is interesting - my husband has started taking Memantine, the dose is now up to 15mg and he takes it in the morning alongside the Donepezil which he has been taking since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in February 2022. No-one ever advised when it should be taken so he has it each morning when we do his blood sugar and insulin. There don't seem to be any side effects so far
I thought the Memantine was working wonderfully until today - the rages, threats and verbal abuse had died down almost completely. However this morning he had a massive spell of aggression, shouting at me, threatening violence and trying to make me leave. It was like going back to square one.
I have found out from this forum that Donepezil can cause this - should I ask the doctor if it should be phased out? And is there a best time to take Memantine?
I take 10mg of memantine before bed and it works for me.
 

Kristo

Registered User
Apr 10, 2023
66
0
My dad (76, mid stage) has just been switched from doneprezil to memantine at my request, because he was so restless and aggressive in doneprezil. I have noticed a difference already with him seeming calmer, although he is having afternoon naps now, which is what he used to do before diagnosis. His poor body was probably so desperate for some rest! He takes the memantine at bedtime.