We Tried Namenda (memantine)
It was suggested after a fairly successful several years of amantadine, that we try Nemenda. Namenda is being used successfully in some cases of autism spectrum disorder. We started on the 5mg once a day and eventually worked up to 10 mg twice a day. It was similar to amantadine in that the experience was fast. Within hours the racing thoughts and ruminations ceased. We had a happier, less obsessive human. However, after about 6 months, the effects started to lessen. The aggravation and irritation returned and as we were already on the highest dose, it was hard to figure out what next. We continued with this for an additional year as it definitely did seem to have some cognitive upsides, but eventually, even that seemed to go away. After approximately 2 years we decided to stop the medication as we felt we were seeing no gains from it any longer. Behaviors were returned to baseline.
It took about 3 months to get to a dose where we felt comfortable stopping completely, it was important to wean slowly as we found even missing a day or two caused some significant upticks in anger and aggression. Now B is completely off the medication, I can confirm that our thoughts were correct. The medication was having little to no effect on OCD or anger/aggression/motivation or functioning any longer. I still believe it is a worthwhile intervention and one worth trying.
See stat sheets below.
Namenda (memantine) is a medication that is FDA-approved to treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is some evidence that it may also be useful in the treatment of certain symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. Some people with ASD may exhibit symptoms such as repetitive behaviors, aggression, hyperactivity, and irritability. These symptoms may be related to an overactivity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including glutamate.
Namenda works by blocking a receptor in the brain called the NMDA receptor, which is involved in the action of glutamate. By blocking this receptor, Namenda can help to reduce the activity of glutamate in the brain, potentially leading to a reduction in the symptoms of ASD.
While there is some evidence to suggest that Namenda may be effective in treating certain symptoms of ASD, more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and risks. It is important to note that Namenda should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider who is experienced in treating ASD.
Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) is an orally active NMDA receptor antagonist used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s type dementia.
What Are Side Effects of Namenda?
Namenda may cause serious side effects including:
pounding in your neck or years,
convulsions (seizure), and
unusual changes in mood or behavior
Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
Common side effects of Namenda include:
loss of appetite,
swelling in your hands or feet,
fast heart rate,
easy bruising or bleeding,
redness or swelling of or around your eyes, or
urinating more than usual.
Many people using Namenda do not have serious side effects.
Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:
Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheadedness, or passing out;
Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.
This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.
Dosage for Namenda
The recommended starting dose of Namenda is 5 mg once daily. The recommended target dose is 20 mg/day. Dosage is increased in 5 mg increments to 10 mg/day (5 mg twice a day), 15 mg/day (5 mg and 10 mg as separate doses), and 20 mg/day (10 mg twice a day). The minimum recommended interval between dose increases is one week.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Namenda?
Namenda may interact with cimetidine, nicotine, ranitidine, quinidine, sodium bicarbonate, antiviral medication, cold or cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, diuretics (water pills), medicine to treat glaucoma, or oral diabetes medicine containing metformin. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.
Namenda During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Namenda should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.