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Memantine advice and experiences please

sammyseal

Registered User
Jul 12, 2015
14
Hi everyone

My mum went from forgetful, confused and wobbly on her feet to being unable to string a coherent sentence together, not recognising anyone in her life except my dad, falling over almost every time she stands and not getting to the toilet in time. She also has started doing other strange things such as randomly picking up the waste paper basket and emptying it piece by piece.

The GP and hospital (including stroke clinic) have given her every test going in the last fortnight and can find no physical cause for the sudden deterioration.

The nurse from the Memory Clinic wants mum to try memantine (she's been on Donepizil for 6 years). Is it likely to make an actual difference to mum's quality of life now? I understood that it can't reverse symptoms but delays further decline - as she is already struggling with movement, speech, recognition and other basic functions, I would like to understand what we can reasonably expect from the memantine so that I can manage both mine and my dad's expectations.

Thanks in advance for your advice and experience - I'm completely lost...
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,936
Nottinghamshire
Hi @sammyseal . I’m sorry to read about your mum’s decline, I know how horrible it is when that happens. I seem to remember one member here whose PWD got very good results with memantine, temporarily, but I have no personal experience of it. Everyone reacts differently to drugs but I think I’d have given it a try for my dad if it’d been offered.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,743
66
Toronto, Canada
@sammyseal my mother did get good results from memantine. This was back when it was only provisionally approved in Canada so I had to politely nag, whine and generally kick up a fuss to get it prescribed for her. She had been previously been on donepezil but the effectiveness seemed to be waning. For my mother, it was more about her moods than it was about her physical reactions.

Have they checked for a UTI? That's normally the first go-to for quick deteriorations. Sorry if it's already been done but sometimes it's not picked up right away.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,942
South East
Hi @sammyseal , I wouldn’t say it’s delayed the decline , more controlled my mum’s symptoms , she has been on Memantine for a few years , it was stopped over a year ago as felt it had no effect but boy oh boy we saw a decline within a couple of days and was hastily put back on it , only positive things I can say about it , I agree about the checking for uti, that’s the first thing I check when mum has a dip but guessing the hospital would have checked that . Hope you find something that helps .
 

sammyseal

Registered User
Jul 12, 2015
14
Thanks everyone - she has frequent UTIs so she's been checked about twice a week for the last 2 weeks and she is completely clear (which is a miracle in itself).
 

Up the Creek

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
47
East Anglia
Hi @sammyseal ,

My mum has only recently been diagnosed with mixed dementia and has been prescribed Memantine. I understand it’s for the Alzheimer’s side of the mix. She was having delusions of children playing in our bungalow and garden but she hasn’t seen them since she has been on Memantine and I haven‘t noticed any other changes or adverse reactions.
 

Thethirdmrsc

Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
232
Hi @sammyseal my OH has been on memantine for 5 weeks now. For the first two weeks it made him very confused, and he didn’t sleep much. That seems to have settled down, but his aggressive behaviour is starting to slowly creep back in. But at least he has stopped spitting since we took him off the mertazapine. He is also on Galantamine. I’m just not sure that a slow progression is the way to go.
 

sammyseal

Registered User
Jul 12, 2015
14
I'm so sorry to hear that @Thethirdmrsc. I feel the same way. I'm not sure if slowing the progression at this stage is fair on either my mum or my dad, but I'm well aware that I don't have a right to an opinion - they've been together 50 years and it's their journey, I just need to support them as best I can.

I just want to manage my dad's expectations as I know that he's still hoping there's a magic pill that will make it all go away, even if logically he knows that won't happen...

There's no certainty in this awful disease except the final outcome.