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Is Memantine a ‘good’ drug?

Chinoise

Registered User
Jan 10, 2017
11
My mum has recently been prescribed Memantine. I had a call from the surgery and the pharmacist gave me some time, both to explain how it should be started, upping the dose each week.
I have a local carers WhatsApp group and when I posted in there, one member said that it did nothing for her mum, it may even have made it worse.
I’m now fearful it could be being pushed by the medical industry and may not be worth my mum taking. Any thoughts or ideas please? Thank you.
 

margherita

Registered User
May 30, 2017
2,524
Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
My husband has been on Ebixa for two years and it seems to have slightly slowed down the progression his Alzheimer's. I say "seems" because nobody can know what would have happened if he had not been on memantine.
I too suspect that it might be pushed by the medical industry , since it is very expensive. Here in Italy it costs 100 €, but it is provided for free by our National Health Service.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,068
Scotland
My husband cannot take the other Alz drugs because of a slow heart rate and his consultant suggested Memantine. I read up on the possible side effects and decided against it but you might want to give it a try if things are difficult for you. If you are not happy with the outcome don't hesitate to go back to the doctor and ask for it to be withdrawn.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,315
Nottinghamshire
My mum has recently been prescribed Memantine. I had a call from the surgery and the pharmacist gave me some time, both to explain how it should be started, upping the dose each week.
I have a local carers WhatsApp group and when I posted in there, one member said that it did nothing for her mum, it may even have made it worse.
I’m now fearful it could be being pushed by the medical industry and may not be worth my mum taking. Any thoughts or ideas please? Thank you.
I have no experience of Memantine but everyone reacts differently to drugs, my daughter can't take ibuprofen - it makes her sick. Donepezil made my dad worse, yet it suits lots of people. I'd say give it a go. You'll know within a few days, a month at most if it suits your mum. If you see an increase in strange behaviour then go back to the doctor, see if coming off the drug, or reducing it back to the level before the behaviour started, improves the behaviour.

I don't understand why doctors don't monitor more closely when they put people on these drugs. It took 6 months for me to realise why dad was behaving so badly!!
 

Sammyjo1

Registered User
Jul 8, 2014
194
My OH has the PCA form of alzheimers and has been on donepezil for about 4 years and it works well for him. The consultant then put him on mematine about 6 months ago and everyone noticed a distinct improvement in him. He has been having regular guitar lessons since diagnosis and the difference in his playing after he started mematine was very noticeable.

I would say it is worth a go. If you notice any of the side-effects you can pull out but you won't know unless you try
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,946
London
All drugs have side effects but not everyone gets them, or all of them. As long as the benefits outweigh the side effects, it's worth a try.
 
Last edited:

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,433
N Ireland
My wife takes Memantine and tolerates it well. Memantine was added to her meds after I reported frequent night terrors and hallucinations after starting Donepezil. The Memantine reduced the terrors/hallucinations. The decline into dementia continues, but at a slow pace.
 

Debmar

Registered User
Sep 26, 2011
7
Nottingham
My OH has just been prescribed this as the Doneprizol made him dizzy not started it yet as again ( need to wait till sun due to it being titrated) I'm worried about it as Mermantine isn't the first choice to give?
But I will give it a go anything that may help must be worth trying!! x
 

Langleys10

Registered User
Dec 29, 2016
9
Guildford, Surrey
My husband was put on Donepezil in September 2016 as soon as AD was diagnosed at the age of 53. The consultant neurologist who prescribed it said that it would give us up 6 - 9 months. The following February, a consultant psychiatrist prescribed Memantine in addition to the Donepezil. At the following review in June this year (yes, they really are keeping an eye on us - not!), a different consultant psychiatrist said to keep on taking the two drugs. When I said that we had been told the effect would only slow matters for 6 - 9 months, he said, well, no-one really knows so probably better to keep taking them, just in case they are doing some good! I wonder if these drugs really help, or if the chemicals affect his behaviour, which we have to calm with anti-psychotics like Olanzapine. The awful sadness is that no one really knows - we are all guinea pigs.
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
186
My husband was put on Donepezil in September 2016 as soon as AD was diagnosed at the age of 53. The consultant neurologist who prescribed it said that it would give us up 6 - 9 months. The following February, a consultant psychiatrist prescribed Memantine in addition to the Donepezil. At the following review in June this year (yes, they really are keeping an eye on us - not!), a different consultant psychiatrist said to keep on taking the two drugs. When I said that we had been told the effect would only slow matters for 6 - 9 months, he said, well, no-one really knows so probably better to keep taking them, just in case they are doing some good! I wonder if these drugs really help, or if the chemicals affect his behaviour, which we have to calm with anti-psychotics like Olanzapine. The awful sadness is that no one really knows - we are all guinea pigs.
My husband was diagnosedwith Alzheimers in December 2016 and prescribed Rivastigmine. All was well until about February this year, when he started to show signs of severe paranoia. After a couple of months we saw the consultant who then prescribed Mementine. Things are much better now. The initial dosage was gradually increased from 10mg to 20mg, and he recognised that he feels better on this medication. I felt that the higher doses made him less alert, so the consultant tried him back on the lower doses, but it was not successful. He now takes 20 mg and I keep my fingers crossed for a quieter life!!
Mementine seems to have various effects on different people, but it is certainly worth trying.
I am glad of the improvement but am cross that we were left to our own devices until we reached rock bottom, when such a medication could have been available to us earlier.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,417
66
Toronto, Canada
My mother was on mementine for years and it suited her very well. She did not have any side effects and her mood and behaviour was much improved.

As others have said, everyone responds differently to medication. I think it's worth a try. If it doesn't work out for you, at least you will know you tried.
 

Marcelle123

Registered User
Nov 9, 2015
4,587
Yorkshire
Mum did well on memantine after she moved to a Care Home, but she only lived a year after that (she was very old - 97), so it's hard to say what the long term effect would have been. An anti-depressant, citalopram, was prescribed a few weeks later and the regime made all the difference to Mum's mood.
But everybody is different. Like others, I think it's worth a try but keep an eye out.
Best wishes. xx
 

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