The objective of this study is to establish whether memantine is an alternative and effective treatment on facial nerve recovery after crush injury, and also to analyze the effective doses of this promising agent. This is a randomized controlled animal study. 40 rats underwent crush injury to left main trunk of the facial nerve, and divided into 4 groups; (1) control (saline treated), (2) 5-mg/kg memantine, (3) 10-mg/kg memantine, and (4) 20-mg/kg memantine group. Facial nerve functions were evaluated by eye reflex, and whisker movement compared to the unaffected side. They were scored on a 3-point scale. On day 28, the rats were sacrificed, and the facial nerves were dissected. The paraffin sections were studied with caspase-3 immunostaining. According to statistical data, the recovery in Group 4 began significantly earlier than the other groups on the basis of restoring eye blink reflexes and whisker movement. Groups 2 and 3 showed faster recovery than Group 1 on the basis of whisker movement. The caspase-3 positive staining was rarely detected in all groups. The Kruskal-Wallis test revealed that Group 4 showed fewer apoptotic cells than other groups; this was statistically significant. However, the Mann-Whitney U test with the Bonferroni correction did not reveal any significant difference between the groups. In conclusion, this study revealed that memantine acted to restore facial nerve functions, and accelerate recovery after facial nerve injury by inhibiting apoptosis.