Memantine HCL Review: Complete Guide to Dosage & Side Effects
This cognitive-enhancement supplement came to my attention several years ago when I was researching behavioral disorders. When my wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I began looking for alternatives to the prescription medications that her physician was pushing on her.
I heard on a drug forum that Memantine was sometimes effective in treating manic episodes, but I was more than a little skeptical since I couldn’t find much clinical evidence to support this at the time. All of the medical studies I came across confirmed that Memantine had significant benefits for those suffering from Alzheimer’s-related dementia, but there wasn’t any mention of bipolar disorder.
This has since changed; in fact, the Psychiatric Times have written about the substantial effect that Memantine can have on treatment-resistant bipolar disorders, noting its value as a form of monotherapy as well as its effectiveness as an augmenting agent.
After reading about Memantine in Reddit r/nootropics threads as far back as 2014, I’d been on the lookout for vendors who carry the drug. After Amphx.com, which let’s you buy Memantine in the HCL form as a potential treatment for both Alzheimer’s as well as anxiety.
I was skeptical (and still am) of any nootropics vendor I’ve never heard of. However, my wife saw her mood improve about two and a half days after taking the first dose. After two weeks on 10mgs a day of Memantine, she no longer made rash decisions without thinking about the consequences and her sudden crying jags were no more.
But that was just the beginning for the both of us. Soon, I learned that it could help in other areas, all of which I will share with you today. First, I’ll give you an overview of Memantine, its mechanism of action, its affordability and availability, and everything else you need to know before buying it.
How it Works
Memantine’s chief mechanism of action is the way in which it inhibits the current flow through the channels of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Unlike other NMDA receptor blockers, Memantine does not induce any detrimental effects, rather it supports brain function. It is believed to possess inhibitory mechanisms that mimic ketamine, although clinical studies suggest that it does not share ketamine’s adverse side effects.
Some have theorized that Memantine permits physiological activation of NMDARs, simultaneously inhibiting pathological overactivation as a consequence of NMDAR inhibition.
Things to Consider Before Buying Memantine
Where many nootropics are not officially certified, Memantine is actually FDA-approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory impairment. But it’s not just for those afflicted with age-related neurodegeneration.
Memantine, otherwise known as Namenda or Ebixa, has found favor among noot nuts as a recreational supplement and smart drug. People have been using it for its learning benefits as well as its efficacy as a treatment for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
One of the greatest things about Memantine is its price. Whereas many cognitive enhancers can go for as much as $40 for a 30-count bottle, Memantine is sold online for under 20 bucks. In fact, a 30-count bottle of 10 mg capsules retails for $17.50.
It has been used recreationally to reverse the tolerance to prescription antidepressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety meds). It is also used to treat the conditions of those who were prescribed such.
Users have been vocal about Memantine’s d2 agonism and how it supercharges the libido, but they also warn about the insomnia that can ensue after extended daily use.
Memantine: Pros and Cons
Memantine (Namenda) may assist in treating dementia and other cognitive disorders. It has also been used to treat chronic headaches.
It is available in pill, powder and liquid form. Caveat: Do NOT mix Memantine solution with any other liquid. It can be taken orally or sublingually.
As with most medications, natural or otherwise, Memantine has its fair share of side effects. For all of its benefits, some undesirable feelings may develop in certain users.
- Memantine is legally available and can be purchased online in the US.
- Memantine is FDA-approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
- It is useful for those suffering from depression and anxiety.
- It increases libido.
- It improves spatial learning and memory.
- It is an effective treatment in those with repetitive traumatic brain injury.
- It can be incorporated into addiction therapy.
- Memantine is also a viable option for those with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- No major side effects
- No interactions with light drinking.
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swelling of the feet or hands
- Accelerated heart rate
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Anxiety or aggression
- Moderate joint pain
Users should discontinue use and contact their doctor if they experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Lack of coordination
- Sudden numbness or weakness
- Easy bleeding
- High blood pressure
- Severe headache
- Blurred vision
Although studies are ongoing to determine the exact extent to which Memantine may be helpful as a therapeutic supplement, findings have shown that it is a solid option for those with neurodegenerative and emotional disorders (dementia, memory loss, generalized anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, et al.).
Orally supplementing with Memantine can improve your brain function and improve sexual appetite.
Generally, it is advisable to start with a 5mg oral dose once a day for your first week. Users then graduate to a 10mg dose on week two (5mgs twice daily). Most users can then take 15mgs on their third week or dosing before establishing a 20mg baseline on their fourth week of taking it (10mgs twice daily).
This is largely dependent upon whether you are taking Memantine IR (Immediate Release) or Memantine ER (Extended Release). Typically, one should start with two daily doses of Memantine IR 10mgs before switching to a regimen of 28mg XR.
Whereas most medications need to be taken with food, Memantine does not. But users are cautioned against double dosing. If you miss a dose, you should wait until your next dose is scheduled before taking it.
Users should not operate a motor vehicle or any heavy machinery when first taking Memantine as drowsiness and lack of coordination are potential side effects.
Reviews—What People Are Saying
Users have called Memantine awesome with one writing, “ I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this medication. My life has absolutely turned around in the past thirty days. My anxiety is nearly vanquished, (I’m down to a 1/10 daily instead of a 5/10!) and my depression is gone completely.”
Another said that it was the best treatment they had ever tried for ADHD, saying, “You need to try this.”
One person pointed out the importance of combining Memantine with a proper daily regimen, writing, “It’s difficult to make headway if your nutrition isn’t in the right place. I try to cover almost all of my essentials through diet first, then supplement to fill gaps.”
My Personal Experience with Memantine
On the more subjective side, I can say that my wife and I have made real strides thanks to supplementing with Memantine. For one, she no longer feels like her bipolar disorder is a handicap that gets in the way of our relationship and our lives. And furthermore, I have found it to be helpful as an addition to my kratom use for fibromyalgia.
Since I started cycling with Memantine and kratom powder, I’ve seen a big difference in terms of my usual joint inflammation and fatigue. I don’t have to drag ass off the mattress in the morning, feeling sluggish and defeated. I’m able to get through the day without prescription painkillers and with a better mindset.
My wife no longer experiences manic episodes, at least not like she did before taking Memantine. She has said that when she’s taking Memantine, she feels more comfortable around others and more confident that she’s in her “right mind.”
While Memantine might not be a true “limitless” drug, it is a useful supplement for those who want to improve their memory, focus and concentration. It is also a real boon for those who suffer from neurological and mood disorders as well as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and/or Fibromyalgia.
Before starting a Memantine regimen, remember to exercise regularly and eat well. Without a proper, nutritious diet, Memantine may be less effective. Be safe, be smart and be well.
Have you tried Memantine or similar cognitive enhancement pills? Please let me know how they worked out for you in the comments below!