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Drugs. 2006;66(11):1515-34.

Memantine: a review of its use in Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Adis International Limited, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.


Memantine (Ebixa, Axura, Namenda, Akatinol) is a moderate-affinity, uncompetitive, voltage-dependent, NMDA-receptor antagonist with fast on/off kinetics that inhibits excessive calcium influx induced by chronic overstimulation of the NMDA receptor. Memantine is approved in the US and the EU for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type. In well designed clinical trials, oral memantine, as monotherapy or in addition to a stable dose of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, was well tolerated during the treatment of mild to severe Alzheimer's disease for up to 52 weeks. Memantine generally modified the progressive symptomatic decline in global status, cognition, function and behaviour exhibited by patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease in four 12- to 28-week trials. In patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, data from three 24-week trials are equivocal, although meta-analyses indicate beneficial effects on global status and cognition. Memantine is an effective pharmacotherapeutic agent, and currently the only approved option, for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.

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