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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Aug;228(4):633-40. doi: 10.1007/s00213-013-3067-z. Epub 2013 Mar 23.

In a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial, adjuvant memantine improved symptoms in inpatients suffering from refractory obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).

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Research Center for Behavioral Disorders and Substances Abuse, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.



There is growing evidence that memantine, a noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, may be applied as an add-on in treating patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD). The aim of the present study was therefore to assess the effect of adjuvant memantine in a double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study of the treatment of patients suffering from OCD.


A total of 40 inpatients (32 females (80 %); mean age = 31.25 years) suffering from OCD were randomly assigned to a treatment (administration of memantine) or a control group (placebo). Treatment lasted for 12 consecutive weeks. All patients were treated with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or clomipramine. Patients completed the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale four times. Experts' ratings consisted in clinical global impression (clinical global impressions (CGI), illness severity and illness improvement; two to three times). Liver enzymes SGOT and SGPT were also assessed (twice).


Of the 40 inpatients approached, 29 completed the 12 consecutive weeks of the study. Of the 11 dropouts, 6 were in the target group and five in the control group. Symptoms significantly decreased across the period of the study, but particularly in the treatment compared with the control group (significant time × group interaction). Illness severity (CGI severity) also significantly decreased over time but more so in the treatment than in the control group (significant time × group interaction). Illness improvements (CGI improvements) were not significant.


The pattern of results from the present double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study for the treatment of patients suffering from OCD suggests that adjuvant memantine does significantly and favorably impact on OCD.

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