Is Memantine a ‘good’ drug?

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by Chinoise, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Chinoise

    Chinoise Registered User

    Jan 10, 2017
    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.
  2. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    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.
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    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 If you are not happy with the outcome don't hesitate to go back to the doctor and ask for it to be withdrawn.
  4. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    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!!
  5. Sammyjo1

    Sammyjo1 Registered User

    Jul 8, 2014
    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
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    #6 Beate, Jul 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
    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.
  7. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    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.
  8. Debmar

    Debmar Registered User

    Sep 26, 2011
    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
  9. Langleys10

    Langleys10 Registered User

    Dec 29, 2016
    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.
  10. Vitesse

    Vitesse Registered User

    Oct 26, 2016
    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.
  11. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    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.
  12. Marcelle123

    Marcelle123 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2015
    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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