Memantine: A drug with possible nootropic effects

24/10/2014 Tags: all

Please note: We do not endorse the consumption of Memantine as it is strictly intended for use in non-clinical scientific research. Not for consumption. As such, this article is strictly for entertainment purposes only. We are not responsible for any side effects due to inappropriate use of Memantine or any other nootropic agent.

Elli and Co. originally developed memantine in 1968 as a novel class of Alzheimer’s disease treatment medication. This disease is a condition involving neuronal loss on the areas of the brain responsible for important cognitive functions such as behaviour, language, memory and learning abilities. However, despite decades of research on this drug’s efficacy, there is little evidence proving that it can help in treating mild Alzheimer’s disease. Numerous studies also revealed that it has modest effects on moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.


Other names/Brand names

Memantine’s brand names differ on the manufacturer of the drug. Most common ones include:

  • Abixa, Akatinol, Axura, Ebixa, Memox, Namenda


What is memantine?

Memantine is the first Alzheimer’s disease medication that acts on the glutamatergic system through blocking the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor. It is therefore labeled as a NMDA receptor agonist. Memantine primarily functions by blocking the activity of glutamate, thereby reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It is critical for you to bear in mind that this compound will only slow the rate of Alzheimer’s symptom severity and not cure it.


How does memantine works?

As an amantadine derivative, memantine works by blocking the receptor channel of NMDA which is similar to what magnesium does. It inhibits calcium influx through binding near the magnesium binding site and dwell in this area for a long period of time. It is also dependent on glutamate receptor activation, hence, considered as an uncompetitive antagonist.

Memantine blocks the NMDA channel on resting and pathological receptor activation rendering it more efficient than magnesium. Its low affinity on NMDA receptors and rapid kinetics ensure inhibition of calcium entry while permitting normal learning and physiological signal transmission. Moreover, it helps in the release of messenger RNA (mRNA), tyrosine kinase B receptor MRNA and protein which adds on its positive cognitive benefits.


Benefits of memantine

Alzheimer’s disease treatment

Memantine is primarily used in treating Alzheimer’s disease. It alleviates symptoms associated with this medical condition through stopping the action of glutamate – a brain chemical that is damaging and toxic to brain cells in increased levels. This compound helps in stopping glutamate from damaging the brain leading to prevention of learning problems and memory loss.

Numerous studies have shown that memantine is helpful in reducing clinical deterioration amongst patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine treatment reduced eating problems, irritability and aggression amongst patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. Positive effects are also seen on mood, behaviours, ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and cognition amongst those with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. However, this drug appeared ineffective on individuals with mild Alzheimer’s disease.


Neuroprotective effects

Memantine has neuroprotective characteristics. It exerts this benefit through preventing neuronal cell death induced by NMDA and increased levels of glutamate in the brain. As such, it helps in maintaining brain health preventing the consequences of neuronal damage such as memory loss, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.


Possible nootropic effects

As a compound that blocks the undesirable effects of high levels of glutamate, memantine can help in preventing neuronal problems particularly if paired with AMPA agonist. AMPA agonists also acts as a glutamate blocker and combining this compounds may produce nootropic effects such as increased intellectual performance and stimulation. Using memantine as a nootropic stack may be effective. However, you must be aware that you may feel confused and dizzy after initial dose. This effect however will go away once your body is able to adjust with its use.

Ongoing research is being done to assess memantine’s effect on several medical condition such as autism, Down’s syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, nystagmus, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, anxiety disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, depression and other cognitive problems.


Memantine side effects

Generally, humans tolerate memantine. Common side effects include agitation, anxiety, irritability, headache, dizziness, confusion, sleeping problems and drowsiness. Uncommon reported side effects on the other hand includes increased libido, cystitis, vomiting and spasticity. Extremely rare side effects include extrapyramidal side effects such as the inability to initiate actions/movements and inability to remain still. This is particular amongst younger individuals.

Some studies report that memantine may also cause reversible neurological problems amongst patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as well as cognitive flexibility disruption. Despite isolated reports of these side effects and limited availability however, memantine remains to be rarely used by recreational users.



 • Do not attempt to use memantine if you have allergies to any of its components

 • Inform your doctor if you are using any other medication (e.g. herbal supplement, non-prescribed drug, dietary supplements). Drug interactions with some medications may occur.

 • Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications – dextromethorphan, amantadine, potassium citrate & citric acid, sodium citrate & citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, acetazolamide as these might increase memantine’s side effects

 • Inform your doctor if you are lactating, pregnant or planning to have a baby before taking memantine.

 • Immediately inform your doctor if you are suffering from any medical condition such as bladder problems, kidney problems, seizure or urinary tract infection.

 • In taking memantine, you must ensure that you take sufficient precautions. Additional precautions include:

 • Avoid driving or performing activities that require mental effort after taking memantine.

 • Take memantine as prescribed by your doctor or with food to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

 • If you miss a dose, skip it and go back to your regular memantine intake.

 • Do not take more than what your doctor has prescribed.

 • Extreme precautionary measures must be undertaken if this drug is given to children.


Where can you buy memantine?

Memantine is currently being sold in US and Europe as a prescription drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. There is a possibility that recreational users may find this drug even without prescription on online stores offering nootropics and cognitive drug enhancers.