A Meta-Analysis of Memantine for Depression

Taro Kishi, Shinji Matsunaga, Nakao Iwata

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42 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on whether memantine was beneficial for the treatment of depressive symptoms in major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). The analysis included double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of memantine in MDD and BD. The primary outcome measures for efficacy and safety were response rate and all-cause discontinuation, respectively. Risk ratio (RR) and standardized mean difference with 95 confidence intervals (95 CI) were calculated. We identified six trials including 451 patients: MDD, four trials (n = 189), three of which studied memantine augmentation for antidepressants; BD, two trials (n = 262), both on memantine augmentation for mood stabilizers. The mean study duration was 8.33 weeks, and the mean age of patients was 39.9 years. Memantine was not superior to placebo with regard to response rate (RR = 0.92, 95 CI = 0.70-1.20, I2 = 72), remission rate, improvement of depressive symptoms scale score, all-cause discontinuation (RR = 0.84, 95 CI = 0.60-1.18, I2 = 0), discontinuation due to inefficacy and adverse events, or incidence of individual adverse events including decreased appetite, dizziness, nausea, and sedation. Although we conducted sensitivity analyses of the response rate to determine the reasons for the heterogeneity (diagnosis, age of patients, memantine dose, memantine augmentation, geographical region, and statistical population), we did not seek confounding factors. Memantine did not improve the treatment efficacy for depressive symptoms in MDD and BD patients. Long-term study of memantine for depression is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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