Memantine Review: Nootropic Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Updated on November 26, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

In this Memantine review, we'll take an in-depth look at what this popular nootropic is. We'll also go over how Memantine works in the brain and provide information about its benefits, side effects, and where to buy it online.

Memantine (Ebixa, Axura, Namenda, Akatinol) is a drug that is used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. It is an NMDA receptor antagonist, which means it works by blocking certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA).(1)

Let's take a deep-dive look into memantine to see what nootropic benefits it can provide when used off-label.

Memantine Review Summary

Memantine is an NMDA receptor antagonist originally developed to treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease. It has become popular off-label as a nootropic, thanks to its potential for improving cognition, memory, and alertness. Like all drugs, it has side effects like headache, nausea, and insomnia.

If you're looking for an effective nootropic that improves mental performance without the risk of long-term side effects, then Memantine is an excellent choice.


  • Improves cognition and alertness
  • Shown to improve memory recall
  • It can be taken at low doses without serious side effects
  • Non-addictive and non-toxic


  • A prescription drug that needs to be obtained through a qualified healthcare provider

What Is Memantine?

Memantine (C12H21N) was first synthesized in 1968 by Eli Lilly and Company as a possible anti-diabetic agent. However, it failed to lower blood sugar, so scientists started investigating its potential activity in the CNS - leading Merz Pharmaceuticals to develop it for dementia treatment shortly afterward.

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In an intriguing twist of fate, researchers only uncovered Memantine's NMDA activity after trials had begun. NMDA receptor antagonists are a type of medication with blocking effects. It blocks the NMDA receptor on neurons which helps regulate how the brain processes information and is responsible for forming new memories.

The NMDA receptor is a type of glutamate receptor. Indeed, it's not the only glutamate receptor in the brain, but it is the most important. It is a primary regulator of synaptic plasticity and helps regulate the brain's memory, mood, and behavior.(2)

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter released when neurons are activated, and it plays a role in learning and memory formation. Therefore, NMDA receptor antagonists can be used to modulate glutamate activity, which can potentially reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

How Does Memantine Work In The Brain?

Memantine is an antagonist of the NMDA (N-Methyl-D-Aspartate)-receptor subtype of glutamate receptor, which is believed to be the primary mechanism of action.

This receptor subfamily is broadly involved in brain function and plays a key role in controlling the flow of current through channels. By binding to the NMDA receptor with a higher affinity than Mg ions, memantine can inhibit the prolonged influx of Ca ions, particularly from extrasynaptic NMDARs, which are associated with excitotoxicity.(3)

Other NMDA receptor antagonists, such as ketamine, have been found to have serious side effects, which limits their therapeutic utility. However, Memantine is a drug that is an effective NMDA receptor antagonist without the same deleterious effects.

This is likely due to the combination of mechanisms shared with ketamine and those specific to Memantine. While both drugs block NMDA receptors, Memantine has additional properties that make it more suitable for therapeutic use.

Differentiating Memantine from ketamine involves its effects on channel gating and its ability to bind to two sites on NMDA receptors. This is important as modulation of NMDA receptor activity can have a vast effect on the excitability of neuronal circuits, making minor variances in their mechanism of action essential.

Such discrepancies may explain why Memantine has emerged therapeutically useful despite blocking similar receptors as ketamine with adverse results.

What Is Memantine Used For?

Memantine is a medication used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is an antagonist of the NMDA (N-Methyl-D-Aspartate)-receptor subtype of glutamate receptor, which helps to slow the neurotoxicity associated with AD.

It is taken orally and has improved memory, reasoning, and overall cognitive function in those with moderate to severe dementia caused by Alzheimer's.(4)

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Memantine has also been studied for its potential use in treating other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. While it has not yet been approved for these uses, some studies have shown promise in reducing symptoms associated with these diseases.(5)

In addition to its clinical applications, Memantine has also been studied for its off-label uses. These include treating depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even autism spectrum disorder (ASD).(6)

While much research is still needed on this topic before any definitive conclusions can be made about its efficacy in treating these conditions, some studies have suggested that Memantine can be beneficial in reducing symptoms related to these disorders.

Memantine is also studied with other medications to treat various mental health conditions. For example, one study found that combining Memantine with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) was effective at reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to SSRIs alone.(7)

Another study found that combining Memantine with antipsychotic medications was effective at reducing symptoms of schizophrenia compared to antipsychotics alone.(8)

What Are The Benefits Of Memantine For Cognition?

The primary benefit of Memantine is its ability to improve cognitive function in people with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. It does this by blocking the effects of glutamate on the NMDA receptor, which helps to reduce neurotoxicity and improve memory, reasoning, and overall cognitive function.

People who take Memantine usually experience additional cognitive benefits, including:

  • Improved working memory and executive function
  • More efficient information processing
  • Better attention and focus
  • Reduced mental fatigue
  • Enhanced learning ability
  • Increased motivation and concentration

Where To Buy Memantine Online?

Memantine is a prescription drug and, therefore, not available over the counter in the United States. If you want to buy from your local pharmacy, you must get a prescription from a licensed medical provider.

Otherwise, you can order from the website of Cosmic Nootropic. They offer a wide range of nootropics, including Memantine, at competitive prices. Their website also provides helpful information on dosages, side effects, and other general guidelines for using nootropics safely.

Their Memantine (Memantale®) costs $45 USD for 60x10 mg pills. They have a 30-day return policy and fast shipping (2-5 days) to United States customers. Also, Cosmic Nootropic offers discounts for bulk orders, so you should purchase from them if you plan to buy in larger quantities.

What Do People Say About Memantine On Reddit?

Let's take a look at what Redditors have said about Memantine.

According to Ripumanity:

"I've done 3-4 cycles of Memantine 5 mg to 10mg per day for 1-2.5 weeks, and I can say that I've not noticed any bad permanent side effects at all. I would say it helps my ADD by slowing me down slightly."

According to Chairman_Mittens:

"I tried taking Memantine 3 separate times and couldn't handle the profound side effects. I felt drunk all the time, without the euphoria or lack of inhibition. I don't think I experienced any lasting negative effects that didn't go away after a week, but it's hard to say."

According to Anonymous:

"Everyone says it's mania clearly knows nothing about Memantine. Memantine is an incredibly effective mood stabilizer and anti-manic agent. I use it to treat bipolar disorder type 1 and have successfully pulled myself and a couple of friends out of manic/psychotic episodes with it in a matter of days.

How Do You Take Memantine For Cognitive Enhancement?

Following your doctor's instructions is important when taking Memantine for cognitive enhancement. Generally, Memantine should be taken once daily with or without food. It may take several weeks before you notice any improvement in your cognitive performance.

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It is unnecessary to cycle Memantine when using it for cognitive enhancement purposes. However, suppose you experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, or dizziness. In that case, you should contact your doctor immediately and discuss reducing the dosage or discontinuing the medication.

In addition to following your doctor's instructions, practicing healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly to maximize the benefits of taking Memantine for cognitive enhancement is important.

The recommended dosage for memantine can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and the patient's age, weight, and overall health.

However, some general guidelines can be followed:

For the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, the typical starting dose is 5 mg, taken once a day. This dose is gradually increased over several weeks to a target dose of 20 mg daily, taken in two divided doses of 10 mg each.

A higher dose of up to 30 mg daily may sometimes be recommended. For the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, the recommended dose of Memantine is typically 20 mg per day, taken in two divided doses of 10 mg each.

For patients with kidney problems (renal failure), the recommended dosage may need to be adjusted to avoid the buildup of memantine in the body. In general, patients with moderate to severe kidney impairment should not take more than 10 mg of Memantine per day.(9)

A typical starting dose for Memantine as a nootropic is 5 mg daily, taken in one dose. This can gradually increase up to a maximum daily dose of 20 mg. It is important to note that higher doses may not necessarily provide greater cognitive benefits and can increase the risk of side effects.

It is also important to consider the potential risks and side effects of using Memantine as a nootropic. The long-term use of Memantine as a nootropic has not been well-studied, and there may be unknown risks associated with its use.

What Are The Side Effects Of Memantine?

Common side effects of Memantine include dizziness, confusion, aggression, headache, constipation, cough, high blood pressure (hypertension), backache, pain, and body aches.

Other less common side effects include agitation, hallucinations, slowed heart rate, increased blood pressure, unsteadiness, and fainting.

In addition to these physical side effects, Memantine can cause nausea, vomiting, and skin reactions. Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet may also occur using Memantine.

If any of these side effects become severe or do not go away over time, you must speak with your doctor about them.

To help reduce the severity of some of these symptoms, rest and drink plenty of fluids if you experience headaches and get more fiber into your diet if you experience constipation.

If you are experiencing drowsiness or dizziness due to taking Memantine, avoiding activities such as driving until these symptoms subside is best.

What Nootropics Are Similar To Memantine?

Memantine is among the most popular nootropics, but several alternatives offer similar benefits:

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  • Donepezil is a second-generation acetylcholinesterase (AChE) often used as an alternative to Memantine for treating Alzheimer's. It works by increasing levels of acetylcholine in the brain, which helps improve memory and cognition.(10)
  • Galantamine (or Galantamine, Reminyl®) is another acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) that has been studied for its potential to treat Alzheimer's disease. It works similarly to donepezil but also affects other neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and GABA.(11)
  • Rivastigmine (SDZ ENA 713) is a cholinesterase inhibitor that has been studied for its potential to treat Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It works by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, which helps improve memory and cognition.(12)

These three nootropics are all similar to Memantine in their ability to improve cognitive function. Still, they have different mechanisms of action and may work better for certain individuals than others.

What Brain Supplements Can Memantine Be Stacked With?

One of the best foundations for stacking with Memantine is NooCube, which contains choline and other key ingredients that enhance the effects of Memantine.

NooCube is a nootropic blend that contains Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Cat's claw extract, and L-theanine, all of which have been shown to increase cognitive performance when combined with Memantine.

Alpha GPC helps to improve memory formation and recall, while Huperzine A helps to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. Cat's claw extract has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation in the brain, while L-theanine helps to promote relaxation and focus.

You can maximize your supplementation regimen by taking NooCube as a foundation for stacking with Memantine. With its unique blend of natural ingredients, NooCube provides an effective way to maximize your cognitive performance and get the most out of your stack.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Let's answer some frequently asked questions about Memantine:

Is Memantine Safe to Use?

Yes, Memantine is generally considered to be a safe nootropic. However, it's important to consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medication, as it may interact with existing medications and cause side effects if combined improperly.

How Long Does It Take For Memantine To Work?

The effects of Memantine vary from person to person and depend on your individual physiology. However, it generally takes about 2-3 months for the full effects of this nootropic to be felt.

How Does Memantine Make You Feel?

Memantine makes you feel more alert, focused, and motivated. It can also help boost your mood and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. You'll be able to think more clearly and remember things better.

What's The Half-Life Of Memantine?

Memantine has a terminal elimination half-life of about 60-80 hours, meaning it takes 3-4 days for the drug to be eliminated from your system.

Is Memantine Addictive?

No. Memantine is not addictive, and there are no reports of abuse or dependence related to this drug. Memantine is not a stimulant, so it won't cause any kind of 'high' or euphoria.

Does Memantine Interact With Any Drugs?

Yes. Memantine can interact with certain drugs, such as blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.

Can I Overdose On Memantine?

No. There is no known risk of overdose related to Memantine, and it's considered safe when used as directed.

Is Memantine Suitable For Long-Term Use?

Yes. Studies have shown that long-term use of this nootropic is safe and effective.

Who Should Not Take Memantine?

People with severe kidney impairment should not take this nootropic, as it may cause adverse effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid taking Memantine. People who take other medications should consult their doctor before taking Memantine.


Memantine is a promising nootropic that can help improve cognitive performance and reduce the effects of age-related memory loss. Its unique mechanism of action makes it an effective tool for improving focus, motivation, and overall brain health.

Memantine works by blocking NMDA receptors in the brain, which helps to reduce inflammation and protect neurons from damage. It's generally safe to use but can interact with other medications, so consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medication.

With its long half-life, it can provide lasting benefits with consistent use. Combining Memantine with a foundation stack such as NooCube can help maximize its effects and provide the best results.