What Is Memantine Used For?
Memantine is used for treating moderate to severe dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease. While the drug is not a cure, it can help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple daily tasks. Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend off-label memantine uses, such as for preventing migraines and treating ADHD or dementia due to other causes.
What Is Memantine Used For? -- An Overview
Memantine hydrochloride (Namenda®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that affects a person's thought process, memory, and language, with no known cause or cure. Common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may include:
- Memory loss
- Poor judgment
- Deterioration of language skills
- Impaired ability to understand visual information
- Mood swings
Early signs of Alzheimer's disease are often confused with normal age-related changes. Eventually, the disease destroys a person's ability to think, process information, and function.
The recommended Alzheimer's treatment varies, depending on the different stages of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease medications are usually key in the treatment of the condition. Memantine has been approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. It is not a cure for Alzheimer's, nor does it slow down the progression of disease or prevent it from occurring. It can, however, help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple daily tasks.
How Does Memantine Work?
Memantine is classified as an NMDA receptor antagonist. "NMDA" stands for N-methyl-D-asparate. It is thought that some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's may be related to changes in NMDA receptors that allow for abnormal, excessive excitation of the receptors by glutamate (a neurotransmitter brain chemical). Memantine works by binding to the NMDA receptor and preventing excessive excitation by glutamate. Currently, no other Alzheimer's medications work like memantine.