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Memantine (Molecule of the Month for October 2006)

Axura, Akatinol, Namenda, Ebixa

Memantine is new kind of Alzheimer's disease drug acting on the glutamatergic system. This is a different way of targeting the disease compared to the cholinergic active drugs.

In 2001, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recommended that the three drugs donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine should be made available in the NHS as one part of the management of some people with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease.

However in 2006, NICE reversed its recommendation after appeal by the manufactures and said donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine could be used to treat moderate stage disease, also NICE ruled another drug, memantine, should be used only in clinical studies for people with moderately severe to severe Alzheimer's disease. This means the early onset on Alzheimer's disease in its mild form cannot be treated by these drugs here in the UK

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)




Picture of Memantine 3D model

click on the picture of  Memantine above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Memantine structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Memantine

C12 H21 N

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for October 2006 )

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