The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of memantine.
Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These reactions include:
Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: agranulocytosis, leukopenia (including neutropenia), pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
Cardiac Disorders: cardiac failure congestive.
Gastrointestinal Disorders: pancreatitis.
Hepatobiliary Disorders: hepatitis.
Psychiatric Disorders: suicidal ideation.
Renal and Urinary Disorders: acute renal failure (including increased creatinine and renal insufficiency).
Skin Disorders: Stevens Johnson syndrome.
The clearance of memantine was reduced by about 80% under alkaline urine conditions at pH 8. Therefore, alterations of urine pH towards the alkaline condition may lead to an accumulation of the drug with a possible increase in adverse effects. Urine pH is altered by diet, drugs (e.g., carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, sodium bicarbonate) and clinical state of the patient (e.g., renal tubular acidosis or severe infections of the urinary tract). Hence, memantine should be used with caution under these conditions.
The combined use of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules with other NMDA antagonists (amantadine, ketamine, and dextromethorphan) has not been systematically evaluated and such use should be approached with caution.
There are no adequate data on the developmental risk associated with the use of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in pregnant women.
Adverse developmental effects (decreased body weight and skeletal ossification) were observed in the offspring of rats administered memantine during pregnancy at doses associated with minimal maternal toxicity. These doses are higher than those used in humans at the maximum recommended daily dose of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules [see Data].
In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively. The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.
Oral administration of memantine (0, 2, 6, or 18 mg/kg/day) to rats during the period of organogenesis resulted in decreased skeletal ossification in fetuses at the highest dose tested. The higher no-effect dose for adverse developmental effects (6 mg/kg) is 2 times the maximum recommended human daily dose (MRHD) of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules (28 mg) on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis.
Oral administration of memantine to rabbits (0, 3, 10, or 30 mg/kg/day) during the period of organogenesis resulted in no adverse developmental effects. The highest dose tested is approximately 20 times the MRHD of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules on a mg/m2 basis.
In rats, memantine (0, 2, 6, or 18 mg/kg/day) was administered orally prior to and throughout mating and, in females, through the period of organogenesis or continuing throughout lactation to weaning. Decreased skeletal ossification in fetuses and decreased body weight in pups were observed at the highest dose tested. The higher no-effect dose for adverse developmental effects (6 mg/kg/day) is 2 times the MRHD of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules on a mg/m2 basis.
Oral administration of memantine (0, 2, 6, or 18 mg/kg/day) to rats from late gestation throughout lactation to weaning, resulted in decreased pup weights at the highest dose tested. The higher no-effect dose (6 mg/kg/day) is approximately 2 times the MRHD of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules on a mg/m2 basis.
There are no data on the presence of memantine in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects of memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules on milk production.
The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from memantine hydrochloride extended-release capsules or from the underlying maternal condition.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Memantine failed to demonstrate efficacy in two 12-week controlled clinical studies of 578 pediatric patients aged 6 to 12 years with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including autism, Asperger’s disorder and Pervasive Development Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Memantine has not been studied in pediatric patients under 6 years of age or over 12 years of age. Memantine treatment was initiated at 3 mg/day and the dose was escalated to the target dose (weight-based) by week 6. Oral doses of memantine 3, 6, 9, or 15 mg extended-release capsules were administered once daily to patients with weights < 20 kg, 20 to 39 kg, 40 to 59 kg and ≥ 60 kg, respectively.
In a randomized, 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study (Study A) in patients with autism, there was no statistically significant difference in the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) total raw score between patients randomized to memantine (n=54) and those randomized to placebo (n=53). In a 12-week responder-enriched randomized withdrawal study (Study B) in 471 patients with ASD, there was no statistically significant difference in the loss of therapeutic response rates between patients randomized to remain on full-dose memantine (n=153) and those randomized to switch to placebo (n=158).
The overall safety profile of memantine in pediatric patients was generally consistent with the known safety profile in adults [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
In Study A, the adverse reactions in the memantine group (n=56) that were reported in at least 5% of patients and at least twice the frequency of the placebo group (N=58) are listed in Table 2.
Table 2: Study A Commonly Reported Adverse Reactions with a Frequency ≥ 5% and Twice That of Placebo
|Adverse Reaction||Memantine N=56||Placebo N=58|
|Discontinuations due to Adverse Reactionsa|
|a Reported adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in more than one patient in either treatment group.|
The adverse reactions that were reported in at least 5% of patients in the 12 to 48 week open-label study to identify responders to enroll in Study B are listed in Table 3.
Table 3: 12 to 48 Week Open Label Lead-In study to Study B Commonly Reported Adverse Reactions with a Frequency ≥ 5%
|Adverse Reaction||Memantine N=903|
|Discontinuations due to Adverse Reactionsa|
|a At least 1% incidence of adverse reactions leading to premature discontinuation.|
In the randomized withdrawal study (Study B), the adverse reaction in patients randomized to placebo (n=160) and reported in at least 5% of patients and twice that of the full-dose memantine treatment group (n=157) was irritability (5.0% vs 2.5%).
Juvenile Animal Study
In a juvenile animal study, male and female juvenile rats were administered memantine (15, 30, and 45 mg/kg/day) starting on postnatal day (PND) 14 through PND 70. Body weights were reduced at 45 mg/kg/day. Delays in sexual maturation were noted in male and female rats at doses ≥ 30 mg/kg/day. Memantine induced neuronal lesions in several areas of the brain on PND 15 and 17 at doses ≥ 30 mg/kg/day. Behavioral toxicity (decrease percent of auditory startle habituation) was noted for animals in the 45 mg/kg/day dose group. The 15 mg/kg/day dose was considered the No-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Level (NOAEL) for this study.
In a second juvenile rat toxicity study, male and female juvenile rats were administered memantine (1, 3, 8, 15, 30, and 45 mg/kg/day) starting on postnatal day (PND) 7 through PND 70. Due to early memantine-related mortality, the 30 and 45 mg/kg/day dose groups were terminated without further evaluation. Memantine induced apoptosis or neuronal degeneration in several areas of the brain on PND 8, 10, and 17 at a dose of 15 mg/kg/day. The NOAEL for apoptosis and neuronal degeneration was 8 mg/kg/day. Behavioral toxicity (effects on motor activity, auditory startle habituation, and learning and memory) was noted at doses ≥ 3 mg/kg/day during treatment, but was not seen after drug discontinuation. Therefore, the 1 mg/kg/day dose was considered the NOAEL for the neurobehavioral effect in this study.
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