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Product Overview

Amantadine (Generic Symmetrel)

  • What is Amantadine?
    Amantadine (Generic Symmetrel) is a prescription drug used to treat both viral infections and Parkinson’s disease. Originally developed to fight influenza, amantadine was later approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat muscle control problems - a common symptom of Parkinson’s.

    Tell your doctor if you are allergic to amantadine or any other prescription drugs, or if you have kidney disease or a history of drug or alcohol use.

  • What are common side effects of Amantadine?
    While adverse reactions to amantadine are rare, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects including lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and lowered blood pressure.

    Serious side effects are very rare but may include psychosis, renal impairment, and constipation. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, call your doctor right away.

    This is not a complete list of side effects. To learn more about adverse effects you may experience while taking amantadine, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

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Have more questions?

Frequently asked questions about amantadine

What is amantadine?

Amantadine hydrochloride (generic for Symmetrel) is a prescription medication used to treat viral infections and Parkinson's disease. As an antiviral drug, it was originally used to treat the influenza A virus but has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease.

What is amantadine used to treat?

Amantadine is unique in that it is an antiviral drug used that treats two very different conditions - influenza and Parkinson's disease. While originally developed to treat the flu, amantadine has become an effective medication for Parkinson’s disease symptoms because it stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a hormone that people with Parkinson’s disease are unable to produce in sufficient quantities, leading to a range of adverse symptoms.

How does amantadine work?

Amantadine is both an antiviral medication and a dyskinesia medication. Antiviral medicines, as the name suggests, kill viral infections within your body. Amantadine stops the flu virus from replicating and infecting healthy cells, helping your body fight off the flu. Amantadine, though, is not an influenza vaccine, and you should not be substituted for your annual flu shot. In addition to its antiviral qualities, amantadine is also a dyskinesia drug. This family of medications helps control involuntary muscle movements - which Parkinson's patients commonly experience. Amantadine may release dopamine in the brain, helping relax muscles and give patients the control they need.

What are the most common side effects of amantadine?

It is important to remember that doctors prescribe amantadine hydrochloride because its therapeutic benefits outweigh its potential side effects. Common side effects may include lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and lowered blood pressure.

Serious side effects are very rare but may include psychosis, renal impairment, and constipation. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, call your doctor right away.

Before starting treatment with amantadine, talk to your doctor about your health history and any medication you may be taking. Amantadine may not be prescribed for women who are breastfeeding, as it may be released into breast milk. Similarly, if you are taking another anticholinergic (anti-spasm) or neuroleptic (anti-psychosis) medication, your doctor may choose not to prescribe amantadine, as formulations of these drugs can cause toxicity in the blood.

This is not a complete list of side effects associated with amantadine. For more information on adverse effects you may experience while taking amantadine, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

How long does it take for amantadine to work?

Amantadine may start to reduce dyskinesia (uncontrolled muscle movements) within 48 hours of the first dose. If you have been prescribed an extended-release version of the medication (like Gocovri), these effects may start to be noticeable within 4 days.

What is the typical starting dose of amantadine?

The standard dosage of amantadine as a treatment for Parkinson's starts at a 100-137 milligram pill taken orally twice a day. It is not meant to be taken with food, so it is recommended that the pill is taken right away in the morning and right before bed.

In patients age 65 or older, it is generally recommended that the dosage is lowered to 100 mg/ day.

In all cases, you must follow your doctor's orders about daily dosage. After assessing your symptoms and your health conditions, your doctor will create a prescription plan that is safe and effective. An overdose of amantadine can lead to renal impairment and symptoms of psychosis. Follow the instructions on the medication bottle, and talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.

Can I get amantadine online?

You certainly can! With Sesame Rx, you can get prescription medication delivered to your door for just $5 a month- without insurance. Yep, you read that right. Doctors on Sesame can write a new prescription (or refill an existing prescription) during your in-person or video visit.
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