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Biggest Fairy

Registered User
Jan 26, 2015
Having followed the sage advice on here and pestered the Psychiatrist, he is (allegedly) writing a letter to the GP to ask them to give us a prescription for Memantine. We spoke to the Psych on Thursday evening and haven't heard anything since. I phoned the surgery on Friday morning to ask them to keep an eye out for it and fax the prescription to the pharmacy as a matter of urgency. I'll phone them again tomorrow.

Anyway, what I wanted to know was whether anyone else had any success with Memantine? Is there anything we should expect or is it just the usual dementia lottery?
Also does anyone know whether we need to stop his Melatonin when we start the Memantine?

Emily M

Registered User
Jan 20, 2015
People I have know on medication

Recently I have known 2 people on medication to alleviate the symptoms. I think one of these may well have been on memantine and the other person was on this type of medicine through it may have been something different.

Both these people were diagnosed with Alzheimer's well before my mother and the progression of the disease seemed much slower than with my mother who would not accept there was anything wrong with her so refused to take anything.

Because my mother's behaviour became so bad she was given Risperidone which from what I could see hastened her decline. The disease seemed to progress rapidly and sadly she passed away last month.

One of these people on the memantine type medicine was a neighbour of my mother and was diagnosed at the very least 2 years before my mother who was diagnosed in 2013. I remember the day in June this year when Mum went into a Nursing Home because the disease had progressed so much. There had been an ambulance in the street and this neighbour called my name as I got out the car and asked if Mum was OK. At 89 she was 2 years older than Mum, still living on her own and hadn't seen me for several months but could still remember me. At that stage Mum had got so bad that she didn't always know her husband.

It is certainly worth trying memantine. I have no idea if you can take it with melatonine so ask the GP.

Biggest Fairy

Registered User
Jan 26, 2015
Thank you Emily.

FIL's Alzheimers is quite advanced, but we've only just managed to get him started on meds, so we're really hoping it works. More than anything we'd like him to sleep for more then an hour at a time.


Registered User
Jul 21, 2015
My OH was diagnosed nearly 4 years ago with dementia with changes in the brain suggestive of Alzheimer's. He was prescribed mematine ,he is still on it. How do we know if it has slowed it down ? He has rapidly deteriorated over the last few weeks .The specialist it currently reviewing the message at my request.


Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
That's the problem, Imindy, one does not know. I assume at some some stage double blind trials must have been done on donepezil, which is usually drug of choice for Alzheimer's, if it is tolerated.
Starting someone on memantine implies that they may have had challenging behaviour at diagnosis, OH didn't get It prescribed until he had delusions and difficult behaviour.
I must admit I sometimes wonder about these drugs. They prolong the early stages, fine, but they also prolong middle and late stages. Hmmmm. Depends what you want and how the person presents, I think.


Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
near Folkestone
My hubs was on Memantine first as most of the AD drugs interfered with his epilepsy ones . He was not good on Memantine at all but everyone is different . He is on Rivastigmine now and much better on these xx

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Registered User
Nov 18, 2015
My nan takes Memantine, we have seen her gradually get worse.
Doesn't seem to be doing anything.
My granddad has been in hospital for 2 weeks so we think that may have triggered the latest decline....a change of circumstances.
Also we now know what sundowning is!!


Registered User
Jan 12, 2015
My mum is on Memantine and has been so for about 10 months. She started off on donepezil, but that totally didn't agree with her. It caused her BP to drop, she was very unsteady on her feet and extremely anxious so she used to stand and shake.
The memory clinic decided to change her to Memantine and after a week break with neither she started on memantine.
Pretty much straight away the unsteadiness stopped and the anxiety lessened - she became much calmer. The week of the year anniversary of my dads birthday and death, it was a very difficult week and after much consideration the doctor prescribed Sertraline (an anti-depressant).
That was just over a week ago - and after two days (two very wonderful days), unfortunately we stepped back to pre-medication. Now I think the new tablets and the changes were perhaps coincidental, but anything that has a positive effect on her I think is worth it.
The trouble with medication (in fact all medication) is that we don't actually know what the situation would be like without it. The problem with dementia sufferers is that they are unable to tell you if they feel any better as (in my mothers case) she cant remember how she felt 5 minutes ago, let alone the previous day.
I am hopeful that when these get into her system properly they will have a more positive effect, but it just seems to be trial and error.
She is to have a follow up appointment next Monday to see how she is with the new tablets.
Everyone is different.


Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
My mum has been taking Memantine but it doesn't really seem to have any effect on her. However she is at the severe stage so that could be why. Her meds for anti-anxiety seem to be the best as they definitely make her calmer and less anxious.


Registered User
Nov 6, 2013

My OH was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 2 years ago. He was put on Memantine straight away. This was because he had a very low pulse rate, because he was a runner and very fit. Apparently the other drugs lower pulse rate and so wouldn't have been suitable.

The Memantine worked quickly. He was suddenly a lot calmer and less anxious. In fact his personality changed completely. He is a much pleasanter person to be with and I'm grateful for that. Perhaps other meds might have had the same effect, we have no way of knowing, as Spamar says. I'm keen to keep him on it for as long as he is as calm and pleasant as he is now.

JigJog x


Registered User
May 11, 2013
My mum has been on Memantine since her diagnosis just over 2 years ago; couldn't be prescribed other dementia drugs due to other medical issues. As others have said, we have no idea if it's really slowing down her deterioration, or whether it would be this gradual anyway, but she's had no side effects and we're keeping her on it in the absence of any problems!

We know she has slowly worsened, even since the beginning of this year, but she's very articulate, which masks (not deliberately) many of the symptoms.


Registered User
Nov 23, 2014
My Mum was on Memantine, prescribed partly for challenging behaviours as her dementia progressed and partly as she was on Warfarin, which contra-indicates other drugs. They worked very well at calming her down, we certainly knew if she had missed a dose! I too worried about the slowing down in the late stages, perhaps not desirable. No evidence in her case as she lived for about 7 years after the initial diagnosis. At late stage, the disease picked up speed, possibly as she was 91 by then. Its all a great worry I know as there is no roadmap for this horrible disease.
Bramble68, my Mum was articulate too, had SS fooled for a long time, but there more experienced staff saw through it.