The Alzheimer’s drug memantine (also known as Ebixa or Namenda) is being regularly used off-label in the treatment of childhood autism, Asperger’s, and Pervasive Development Disorder, so the US FDA ordered two trials of it in children. The results of these new unpublished studies show the risky drug is ineffective and should be avoided, writes pharmacist Larry Sasich in Patient Drug News.
“The results for both of these trials were released on the US FDA’s Web site in July 2014,” writes Sasich. “In both trials there was no statistical difference between memantine and an inactive placebo.” According to Sasich, the US FDA Medical Officer responsible for the review recommended that the new product labeling should ‘inform clinicians and families of the lack of memantine’s effect on the treatment of core symptoms of autism.’”
Sasich adds that “it is unlikely that your pharmacist or physician knows about these trials.”