A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of memantine in the treatment of major depression

Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jan;163(1):153-5. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.1.153.


Objective: This study was designed to assess possible antidepressant effects of memantine, a selective N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist in humans.

Method: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 32 subjects with major depression were randomly assigned to receive memantine (5-20 mg/day) (N=16) or placebo (N=16) for 8 weeks. Primary efficacy was assessed by performance on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).

Results: The linear mixed models for total MADRS scores showed no treatment effect.

Conclusions: In an 8-week trial, the low-to-moderate-affinity NMDA antagonist memantine in doses of 5-20 mg/day was not effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memantine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Memantine