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Does Namenda Work for Migraine Headaches?

by Dr. Sharon Orrange on June 19, 2014 at 9:19 am

Quite a bit of buzz around Namenda (memantine) for prevention of migraine headache. Namenda is a medication used to treat dementia, so why in the world would it work for migraine prevention?

For people who suffer with 3 – 4 headaches a month and have been refractory or can’t tolerate other therapies, Namenda may be an option.

Listen up.

  • It is well tolerated in studies, with a good side effect profile.
  • Namenda 10 mg – 20 mg a day has been shown to decrease headache frequency significantly in those with chronic migraine.
  • What is the science behind it? Namenda works for migraine because it is a glutamate pathway modifier and the glutamate system may play a crucial role in migraine.
  • Is it expensive? Here is the kicker. Namenda 10 mg tablets were set to go generic this year but the maker of Namenda has decided to phase out Namenda in place of Namenda XR. Namenda XR has not been studied for migraine prevention, but folks taking Namenda 10 mg are being switched to Namenda XR 14 mg – 24 mg a day.

Dr O.

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