Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Namenda (memantine HCl) for migraine prevention


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I started taking Namenda (memantine HCl) for migraine prevention a couple of weeks ago under the direction of Dr. John Claude Krusz. I've been on (and failed) every other usual suspect for prevention (Topamax, Zonegran, Neurontin, etc.), so this one may be unfamiliar.

Namenda was originally developed as a treatment for symptoms associated with Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Namenda for this use in October 2003.

Dr. Krusz has published research on the use of Namenda for migraine prevention. Though no double blind studies have been completed, the initial results seem promising.

Preventing Chronic TTH & Migraine with Namenda

Twenty patients with chronic Migraines who had not responded to other prophylaxis measures were studied. They had an average of 9.2 Migraines per month. Fourteen of 20 (60%) had TTH as well (average of 12.5 days per month). Memantine was added at 5mg per day with weekly increases of 5 mg, up to a maximum of 20 mg per day, as tolerated. Patients kept headache diaries for Migraines and TTH as well as pain scores. Evaluations were made after one month of therapy on 20 mg (or maximally tolerated dose) of memantine.

Migraine frequency fell to an average of 4.1 Migraines per month, or almost 56% less than at baseline, in 14 of 20 patients. Remaining Migraines were rated as less severe and easier to treat. Acute Migraine and rescue medication use dropped by two-thirds.
Sources:
Preventing Chronic TTH & Migraine with Namenda
Namenda for Migraine and Chronic Headache Prevention
Memantine - USC University Hospital

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