A pilot evaluation of the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and effectiveness of memantine in pediatric patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder combined type

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2007 Feb;17(1):19-33. doi: 10.1089/cap.2006.0044.


Background: Disturbances in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity may play a role in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Objective: This study is a preliminary evaluation of the safety, pharmacokinetics, and effectiveness of the NMDA receptor antagonist memantine in pediatric ADHD.

Methods: An open-label, dose-finding, 8-week, trial in outpatients 6-12 years old with ADHD combined type. Memantine oral solution (2 mg/mL) was titrated to 10 mg/day (n = 8) or 20 mg/day (n = 8). Safety data and blood samples for pharmacokinetic analyses were collected. The ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-IV) and Clinical Global Impression of Severity (CGI-S) scale measured the effectiveness of memantine.

Results: There were no discontinuations due to adverse events (AEs), serious AEs, deaths, or suicides. Most AEs were mild and occurred during the first week of treatment. The 20 mg/day memantine dose was associated with a higher rate of completion and larger mean improvement on the ADHD-IV and CGI-S than 10 mg/day memantine. Pharmacokinetic analyses suggest response to memantine may be dose-dependent beyond an initial threshold concentration.

Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that a memantine dose of 20 mg/day may be a safe and possibly effective treatment for pediatric ADHD. Further investigations of memantine in ADHD appear to be warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / blood
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memantine / administration & dosage*
  • Memantine / adverse effects
  • Memantine / pharmacokinetics
  • Pilot Projects
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Memantine