Background: Postmarketing surveillance studies (PMS) are an important tool for evaluating a drugs effectiveness and safety in clinical practice. To our knowledge, no PMS on memantine monotherapy for moderately-severe-to-severe Alzheimers disease (AD) according to National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke Alzheimers Disease and Related Disorders Association criteria has been conducted to date. Objective: The Lombardy Health Office, Italy, promoted this PMS to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of memantine in the treatment of moderately-severe-to-severe AD in clinical practice. Methods: A total of 451 patients with moderately-severe-to-severe AD (meanage 77 7 years; 72% female), free of cholinergic medication, received memantine (standard titration to 10 mg twice daily). After 6 months of therapy, treatment effectiveness was evaluated according to two definitions of response (no deterioration and improvement), as measured by changes in baseline scores on the Clinical Global Impression of Change, Mini-Mental State Examination, Neuropsychiatric Inventory and Activities of Daily Living scales. The safety measure was the frequency of adverse events (AEs). Results: At 6-month assessment, 26.8% of subjects showed no deterioration and 3.8% showed improvement. In those showing no deterioration, response to treatment at the 3-month assessment was associated with a greater probability of a response at 6 months (adjusted odds ratio = 8.54; 95% CI 4.54, 16.05). Seventy patients (15.5%) experienced at least one AE and 39 (8.6%) discontinued treatment prematurely because of an AE. Of those who experienced an AE, 27 (38.6%) manifested behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Conclusion: The proportion of responders to memantine treatment in this PMS was similar to that reported in a previous randomized clinical trial (26.8% vs 29%, respectively). The proportion of patients who discontinued treatment prematurely because of an AE (8.6%) was similar to that reported in two previous randomized clinical trials (10% and 12.4%). This PMS provides additional evidence that both the effectiveness and the tolerability of memantine may be transferred into real world medicine, where AD patients receiving treatment are not selected according to strict criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Memantine in moderately-severe-to-severe alzheimers disease: A postmarketing surveillance study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this