Namenda tablets to be discontinued by Forest Labs
Forest Laboratories plans to discontinue the sale of memantine HCl (Namenda) 5-mg and 10-mg tablets effective August 15, 2014. Forest has notified FDA of this decision.
The oral solution of Namenda and once-daily Namenda XR (memantine HCl) extended-release capsules will continue to be available. Both Namenda and Namenda XR are indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease.
“Namenda XR offers important benefits, including convenient, once-daily dosing, which is particularly meaningful for this patient population and their caregivers. Our decision to focus on Namenda XR is supported by these benefits as well as the positive feedback we’ve received from physicians and caregivers since the launch of Namenda XR,” Marco Taglietti, MD, chief medical officer and EVP, Drug Development and Research of Forest, said in a press release. “The conversion also allows us to streamline our resources and explore innovative new compounds that may be effective for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including the fixed-dose combination of Namenda XR and donepezil, which is under development.”
Importantly, physicians can switch patients from Namenda to Namenda XR the very next day without titration, as outlined in the FDA-approved package insert. In addition to its convenient dosing, Namenda XR capsules can be opened and the contents sprinkled on applesauce for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills.
Forest sponsored a third-party survey that included 250 physicians treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 250 caregivers of patients. Physicians surveyed responded that Namenda XR once-daily administration was important in their decision to prescribe the medication. Also, a majority of caregivers responded that they were satisfied with the once-daily dosing of Namenda XR.
Forest is actively communicating with healthcare providers, pharmacists, patients, and caregivers to notify them of the discontinuation of Namenda tablets and the continued availability of Namenda XR. Patients and caregivers with questions can call Forest’s dedicated toll-free number, (844) TREAT-AD.
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