Memantine in the treatment of binge eating disorder: an open-label, prospective trial

Int J Eat Disord. 2008 Sep;41(6):520-6. doi: 10.1002/eat.20541.


Objective: To assess preliminarily the efficacy of memantine in binge eating disorder.

Method: This was an open-label, 12-week, flexible-dose (5-20 mg/day) trial of memantine in binge eating disorder. The primary outcome was frequency of binge days. Secondary outcomes included frequency of binge episodes, body-mass index (BMI), weight, Clinical Global Impressions Severity (CGI-S), Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ), Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Longitudinal random regression analysis was performed for frequency of binge days and episodes, BMI, weight, and CGI-S; analysis of baseline to endpoint change was performed for all outcomes.

Results: Sixteen individuals received memantine; 15 completed at least one postbaseline evaluation, 9 completed the study. Mean dose at endpoint was 18.3 mg/day. Memantine was associated with significant reductions in frequency of binge days and episodes, severity of illness (p < .001 for both analyses), disinhibition on the TFEQ (p = .015), and disability on the SDS (p < .05 for three subscales). There was no significant change in BMI, weight, MADRS, HAM-A, and TFEQ cognitive restraint and hunger.

Conclusion: In this open-label trial, memantine was well tolerated and effective in reducing binge eating, severity of illness, and disability, but had little effect on BMI and weight.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Bulimia Nervosa / drug therapy*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memantine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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