FDA Approves Combo Pill for Alzheimer’s Disease

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Dec. 29, 2014 — The FDA has approved a combination pill for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease in people already being treated with both drugs.

The pill, called Namzaric, combines memantine hydrochloride extended-release (Namenda) and donepezil hydrochloride (Aricept).

The two drugs are often prescribed together. About 70% of people on Namenda XR are also on Aricept, says David Nicholson, PhD, in a statement. He’s the senior vice president of global brands R&D for drugmaker Actavis.

“Both Namenda XR and donepezil have proven efficacy and safety for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease,” Nicholson says. Also, research shows that people who took the combo pill showed greater improvement overall, and with thinking, than those on donepezil alone, he says.

Namzaric is a capsule that’s taken once a day. The capsules can be opened and sprinkled on food for people who have trouble swallowing. The drug will be available in two strengths.

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