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Case Reports in Psychiatry
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 749796, 3 pages
Case Report

Memantine as an Augmentation Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 E. Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA

Received 23 August 2011; Accepted 9 October 2011

Academic Editors: I. G. Anghelescu, D. E. Dietrich, Y. Kaneda, J. Nakamura, and J. Saiz-Ruiz

Copyright © 2012 Thomas L. Schwartz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS), may play a role in the development of anxiety. Memantine partially blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors' glutamate channels located in the CNS. This paper evaluates memantine as an augmentation therapy for treatment of anxiety. Methods. 15 consecutive partially responding anxious patients were treated with adjunctive memantine for 10 weeks. Memantine was dosed 5–20 mg/day. Result. Memantine augmentation resulted in clinically relevant reduction in anxiety symptoms when compared to baseline. Forty percent of patients achieved remission (HAM-A ≥ 7). Memantine improved sleep quality. Mean dose was 14 mg/d (range 5–20 mg/d). Typical adverse events included nausea and headache. Conclusion. The NMDA receptor antagonist memantine may be an effective augmentation therapy in patients with treatment-resistant anxiety.