Namenda - memantine hydrochloride - can slow the development of symptoms in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease for at least a year, according to a multicenter study carried out by US researchers. Barry Reisberg of New York University and colleagues have verified that this medication "continues to be beneficial and is safe with remarkably few side effects". Namenda, 1-amino-3,5-dimethyl adamantane hydrochloride, was approved initially in October 2003 by the Food and Drug Administration based partly on a 28-week placebo-controlled clinical trial of 252 people. The new results - an open label extension - followed up 175 patients, 80 of whom had received placebo in the initial trial. The follow-up trial was funded by the drug's German distributor Merz Pharmaceutical.