Anti-Alzheimers’s Drug Memantine (Namenda) May Augment the Antidepressant Effects of Lamotrigine

January 17, 2011 · Posted in Potential Treatments 

memantineAt the 65th Annual Scientific Convention of the Society of Biological Psychiatry in May, Amit Anand reported that the anti-Alzheimer’s drug memantine (20 mg/day) was superior to placebo in augmenting the acute antidepressant effects of lamotrigine. These data are of particular interest since one of the assumed mechanisms of action of lamotrigine is to decrease the release of glutamate.

Memantine is a drug approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and is a partial antagonist (blocker) of glutamate NMDA receptors. This suggests that the dual actions of inhibiting glutamate’s release pre-synaptically (with lamotrigine) and blocking glutamate receptor activity post-synaptically (with memantine) combine to produce a better effect than that of lamotrigine alone.

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