Background: Memantine is an uncompetitive antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor. It is now approved only for treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, as a growing body of evidence indicates that disturbed glutamate neurotransmission may be central to the pathophysiology of such conditions as obesity, schizophrenia, depression, substance abuse, pain disorders and glaucoma, clinical trials have explored the role of memantine in these and other disorders. Objective: To provide a comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of memantine across the range of clinical applications in which it has been studied. Methods: A search was done on Pubmed using keyword 'memantine' to identify clinical trials of memantine. Results/conclusion: At present, clinical trial evidence supports the use of memantine in only moderate-to-severe AD. Preliminary studies suggest benefit in frontotemporal dementia, alcohol dependence, post-traumatic stress disorder, headache and obesity, but rigorous clinical trials are needed to confirm these results. Available data indicate that across a range of clinical applications, memantine is a safe and well-tolerated drug. (copyright) 2009 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.
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