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Namenda for Autism?

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 77
happy4us HB User
Namenda for Autism?

Have you heard anything about prescribing Namenda for autism? My son's doc has mentioned it twice in two appointments and is very excited about the potential of this drug for children with autism. I am having trouble finding out anything about it related to our problem (only can find Alzheimer info). I'm pretty sure we're going to go in sometime to see the doc and he'll be trying to push this drug on us so I want to be educated/prepared.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: Namenda for Autism?

Hi Rhonda,

Namenda is a new drug, an NMDA receptor antagonist, targetted to the Alzheimer's population. The drug manufacturer has some literature on Nameda's effectiveness & side effects, over the relatively short term, with the target population. However, there aren't easily accessible studies on the long term use of Namenda, even with the Alzheimer's group.

Apparently there has been one study of a group of 30 kids w/autism, who were tried on Namenda. I don't have the details of the study other than it was a relatively simple design, not a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded experimental design. If you've got the study documentation, great. If not, perhaps your doc's office staff will help you obtain it. With such a new drug, and with the extremely off-label prescribing (drug is not approved either for children or for autism) I'd want to talk to the study's investigators myself. First & foremost I'd want to know whether this study was funded by the drug company, and what the investigators' relationship to the drug manufacturer is.

Namenda's general drug class, NMDA receptor antagonists, can be researched. See if you like what you read. One interesting search would be to see what the phrase "NMDA receptor antagonist-induced" drags up. I'd also be interested in finding out how long-term administration of NMDA receptor antagonists affects juvenile animals. A public library reference librarian could help you with this if you have difficulty finding information.

I'm very cautious with the use of psych meds in young children. You don't mention your child's age, but the younger the child, the more reason for caution, IMO. Each person has his/her own bias about autism treatments, & I'm disclosing mine to you, so you can take what I say in that context.

The active ingredient of Namenda, memantine, has been studied in rats. A single dose of memantine caused lesions in several parts of the rats' brains. Does memantine do this in humans? We don't know one way or another. Stay tuned, when older Alzheimer patients on this drug pass away & are autopsied, we may know more.

There are a number of drugs that, while still being Rxd off label for autistic kids, do have at least a fair bit of clinical experience behind the prescribing. For the sake of fairness, and of comparison, you may want to ask your doc about those other meds, and research them.

Have you tried other therapies & meds for your child, or would Namenda be your child's first therapeutic experience?

Best wishes.

Old 03-23-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Des Moines, IA, USA
Posts: 1
Tim54 HB User
Re: Namenda for Autism?

I have 2 sons on Namenda. One has Asperber's and the other has PDD. Both have improved significantly on this medication. Our son with Asperger's had been on a slew of other drugs and none of them worked like this did. He is on a combination of Risperdal and Namenda and our son with PDD is just on the Namenda. The 10 year old with Asperger's was initially diagnosed with ADD and eventually after a hospitalization placed on Namenda and Risperdal. He has thrived since he was titrated up on the Namenda. The rage, especially has diminished to an acceptable level. Our son w/ PDD is significantly better with his perseveration. We are willing to deal with the unknown aspect of these medications. Our family life is managable with Namenda-it was not, prior to Namenda.

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Old 03-31-2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Clarksville MD USA
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Summer 77 HB User
Re: Namenda for Autism?

That is really encouraging that your sons have benefited from namenda. I have a 15 year old son taking 71/2 mg 2ce per day for the past 3 months, along with 25 mg of zoloft. THis combp. has helped significantly with melt downs, with no side effecdts. How many mg. of namenda are your son's taking? Thanks very much.

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