Alzheimers Home > Namenda for Migraines

Occasionally, healthcare providers may prescribe Namenda for migraines. This would be considered an "off-label" use, as the medication has only been approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. While some studies show that the drug is effective for preventing migraines, much more research is needed before it can be proven to be safe and effective for this use.

Can Namenda Be Used for Migraines?

Namenda® (memantine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used for Alzheimer's disease. There is some interest in using this drug for migraine prevention, although it is not approved for this use. This means that when prescribed for migraines, Namenda is being used in an "off-label" fashion.

Research on Migraines and Namenda

Research on this topic is in the earliest stages. For example, one case report describes a woman suffering from chronic migraines who unexpectedly stopped getting them when she was prescribed Namenda for mild cognitive impairment.
In addition, one small, basic study (based on surveys) showed that 36 out of 54 people who were prescribed Namenda for migraine prevention had a significant reduction in the frequency of their migraines. It is important to understand that this study merely suggests that the drug might help with migraines; it is not the type of study that can clearly demonstrate that Namenda really works for migraines.
There is no evidence to suggest that Namenda has any role for migraine treatment (treating a migraine once it has started). At this point, it is too early to know if the drug truly helps prevent migraines, but it might be an option to consider if all other treatment and prevention options have failed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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