The role of NMDA receptor antagonists, amantadine and memantine, in schizophrenia treatment: a systematic review

Abstract Objective Schizophrenia is a complex and chronic psychiatric disorder. In recent years, studies have found glutamatergic system participation in its etiopathogenesis, especially through aberrant NMDA receptors functioning. Thus, drugs that modulate this activity, as amantadine and memantine, could theoretically be used in its treatment. To perform a systematic literature review about memantine and amantadine use as adjunct in schizophrenia treatment. Methods A systematic review of papers published in English indexed in the electronic database PubMed ® using the terms “memantine”, “amantadine” and “schizophrenia” published until October 2016. Results We found 144 studies, 8 selected for analysis due to meet the objectives of this review. Some of these have shown benefits from such drug use, especially in symptoms measured by PANSS and its subdivisions, while others do not. Discussion: The data in the literature about these drugs use for schizophrenia treatment is still limited and have great heterogeneity. Thus, assay with greater robustness are needed to assess real benefits of these drugs as adjuvant therapy.