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9-Jan-15 9:30 AM  CST  

Combination Pill Approved by FDA to Help Combat Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s disease, like so many other disease states causes havoc for the patient and the family. While science has done its part to try and understand the disease that attacks so many lives, there still remains a great deal to learn. Few medications exist to lessen the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but in December the Food and Drug Administration approved a new combination drug for patients diagnosed moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.

Namzaric combines two drugs already on the market for Alzheimer’s patients, Namenda (memantine hydrochloride extended release) and Aricept (donepezil). The combination of these two commonly prescribed Alzheimer’s medications will allow patients to maintain better compliance and ultimately obtain a better outcome for control the disease. According to Dr. David Nicholson, the Senior Vice-President for Activas, the drug manufacturer for Namzaric, approximately 70% of all Alzheimer’s patients are currently prescribed Namenda and Aricept. Putting the two drugs together seemed inevitable, and now the convenience of the two drugs together in one easy tablet makes the task of a daily therapy that much easier for patients and caregivers.

Another convenience of the drug allows the drug to be opened and sprinkled over the patient’s food, important for those patients that may have a difficult time swallowing, often a symptom of the disease. With approximately 5.2 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s the combination drug is encouraging news. Alzheimer’s disease is the 5th leading cause of death among patients 65 years of age and older.

Namzaric is a once a daily regimen and comes in two different strengths, memantine hydrochloride extended release/donepezil 28mg/10mg and memantine hydrochloride extended release/donepezil 14mg/10mg. Headache, diarrhea, and dizziness were common side effects with Namzaric. Namzaric is expected to be available on the U.S. market in the early part of 2015.

 

 

 

References:

Brooks, M., (2014) “ FDA approves combo pill for Alzheimer’s” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20141229/combo-pill-alzheimers-disease, retrieved, 5. January 2015

Drugs.com, (2014) “FDA approves Namzaric”, http://www.drugs.com/newdrugs/actavis-adamas-announce-fda-approval-namzaric-memantine-donepezil-alzheimer-s-4137.html, retrieved, 5. January 2015

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Source: Sandy Andrews

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