Monday, December 29, 2014

FDA Approves New Alzheimer's Medication

The Food and Drug Administration approved the New Drug Application for Namzaric to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. Namzaric is a fixed-dose combination of extended-release memantine hydrochloride, a NMDA receptor antagonist, and donepezil hydrochloride, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.

These two medications are often co-prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients, and a recent clinical study demonstrated that giving memantine to patients already taking acetylcholinesterase inhibitors could boost improvements in cognition and functioning, with minimal adverse effects.

This new dual-formula drug will reduce the number of pills Alzheimer’s patients need to take daily; the capsule can also be opened and the drug sprinkled on food for patients who have difficulty swallowing.

Namzaric was developed by Actavis along with partner Adamas Pharmaceuticals and is expected to be launched in the U.S. sometime in the second quarter of 2015.

To learn how antidepressants may also someday help in the fight against Alzheimer’s, see the Psychiatric News article “Antidepressant Reduces Amyloid Load, Study Finds.”

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