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Headache. 2016 Jan;56(1):95-103. doi: 10.1111/head.12732. Epub 2015 Dec 6.

Memantine for Prophylactic Treatment of Migraine Without Aura: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study.

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Iranian Center of Neurological Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA.
Neurology Department, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences.



Uncontrolled studies in human have suggested that memantine might be a suitable option for migraine prophylaxis.


To assess the efficacy and tolerability of memantine for migraine prophylaxis.


This was a 12-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled parallel-group study. Sixty patients with migraine without aura were randomized using a computer-generated list to receive memantine (10 mg/day) or placebo for 12 weeks. The primary outcome was the difference in change from baseline in the monthly attack frequency at week 12 between the two groups (using migraine diary). Secondary efficacy measures were assessed using several clinical, functional, and psychological instruments. We performed both complete case (CC) and intention-to-treat analyses (ITT).


Twenty-five patients in the memantine group and 27 patients in the placebo group completed the study. Patients in the memantine group showed significantly greater reduction (mean change; 3.4; 95%CI, 2.3-4.4) in the monthly attack frequency than the placebo group (mean change, 1.0; 95%CI, 0.3-1.7) (mean difference [MD], 2.3; 95%CI, 1.1-3.5, P < .001). Both CC (MD, 4.9; 95%CI, 2.6-7.2 days), and ITT analyses (MD, 5.2; 95%CI, 2.0-8.5) showed significantly higher reduction in the mean number of migraine days in the memantine group than the placebo group (P < .01). Patients in the memantine group experienced greater reduction in the number of work absence days, severity, and disability score than the patients in the placebo group in both ITT and CC analyses. Changes in quality of life, sleep, depression, and anxiety did not differ between the two groups. Three patients in the memantine group complained of sedation, mild vertigo and nausea, and drowsiness. In the placebo group, one patient complained of nausea and another patient discontinued treatment after 2 weeks due to vertigo.


Memantine might be a tolerable and efficacious option for prophylaxis in patients with migraine without aura. Tolerability, short duration required for titration, and safety profile in pregnancy might give memantine an advantage over other antimigraine medications. The study was registered in the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (Registration number: IRCT2013120115616N1).


glutamate; memantine; migraine without aura; placebo; prophylaxis; randomized controlled trial

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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