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Aricept and Namenda

Aricept and Namenda


What are the Similarities and Differences between Aricept and Namenda?

Aricept and Namenda are both prescription drugs used to curb the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Aricept and Namenda are both popular in the United States for their ability to improve cognitive function– Aricept and Namenda help improve memory, reasoning, communication skills and the ability to perform daily tasks. Although Aricept and Namenda both relieve symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the two drugs do so in two different ways. By utilizing different mechanisms, Aricept and Namenda have two very different approaches.

Aricept and Namenda focus on neurotransmitters that are essential to learning and memory. Aricept, when looking at Aricept and Namenda, focuses on acetylcholine in an effort to impede the loss of the enzyme from Alzheimer’s. Namenda, when looking at Aricept and Namenda, in turn, targets glutamate in an attempt to block the excess production of the chemical as part of Alzheimer’s.

When viewing Aricept and Namenda, you must understand the functions of their two targeted enzymes. First, Acetylcholine is responsible for imitating muscle stimulation. In a brain affected by Alzheimer’s, Acetylcholine’s presence is reduced, limiting muscle stimulation. With Namenda, Glutamate stimulates neurons into action. This function is necessary because Alzheimer’s patients have excess glutamate which kills neurons. 

Side Effects Associated with Namenda and Aricept:

To understand the positives and benefits of Namenda and Aricept, one must analyze the two drug’s side effects. Namenda, when comparing Namenda and Aricept, typically yields fewer side effects than its counterpart. According to Aricept’s product description, the drug’s side effects include: vomiting, diarrhea, bruising, muscle cramps, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite, fatigue and nausea. When comparing Namenda and Aricept, Namenda’s description lists: confusion, constipation, headache and dizziness. So, when comparing the side effects of Namenda and Aricept, it can be inferred that Namenda is generally less intrusive. That being said, patients will experience different levels of these effects; the side effects of Namenda and Aricept fluctuate on a case by case basis. 

Namenda and Aricept: Sizes of the Pills

When comparing Namenda and Aricept, Namenda pills are larger than Aricept pills. Although this may not seem like a major issue when comparing Namenda and Aricept, the size of the pills is a point of interest for many Alzheimer’s patients experiencing difficulty swallowing. Moreover, when looking at Namenda and Aricept, a potential user can take Namenda in liquid form—Aricept only comes in pill form. 

Namenda and Aricept: Other Facts Associated with the Drugs

When looking at Aricept and Namenda, it must be stated that Namenda is a much newer drug than its counterpart—Namenda was approved to treat Alzheimer’s in 2003, while Aricept has been commonly used since 1996. 

When looking at Namenda and Aricept, most medical professionals agree that Namenda is better suited to moderate advanced stages of AD, while Aricept is more beneficial to treat patients from the early onset of the disease through the latter stages.