Amantadine: Uses, Side Effects, Safety and More


What is Amantadine?

Amantadine is a medication that is primarily used to treat Parkinson's disease and certain types of influenza (flu). It belongs to a class of medications known as adamantanes and works by affecting the levels of dopamine in the brain, which helps to improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease and reduce the severity of influenza symptoms.

Amantadine Uses

Amantadine is commonly prescribed for the following uses:

  • Treatment and prevention of influenza A virus infections
  • Management of Parkinson's disease
  • Treatment of movement disorders caused by certain medications

Common Side Effects of Amantadine

  • Nausea: Nausea is one of the most common side effects associated with amantadine use.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: Some individuals may experience feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping: Amantadine may cause difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep in some individuals.
  • Anxiety or agitation: Some people may experience feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or agitation while taking amantadine.
  • Dry mouth: Amantadine may reduce saliva production, leading to dry mouth or thirst.
  • Blurred vision: Blurred vision or difficulty focusing may occur as a side effect of amantadine.
  • Constipation: Amantadine can slow down bowel movements and lead to constipation in some individuals.
  • Hallucinations or confusion: In some cases, especially in older adults, amantadine may cause hallucinations or confusion.

Rare Side Effects of Amantadine

  • Seizures: Although rare, amantadine may lower the seizure threshold, increasing the risk of seizures, particularly in individuals with a history of seizure disorders.
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities: Amantadine may cause changes in heart rhythm, including prolongation of the QT interval, which can lead to serious heart rhythm abnormalities such as torsades de pointes or ventricular arrhythmias.
  • Allergic reactions: Rarely, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to amantadine, resulting in symptoms such as skin rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Liver problems: Amantadine may affect liver function and lead to liver problems in some individuals, although this side effect is rare.
  • Mood changes or depression: Amantadine may worsen depression or cause mood changes such as irritability, sadness, or suicidal thoughts, particularly in individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions.

Is Amantadine Safe for Pregnant Women and Children?

The safety of amantadine during pregnancy and in children has not been established. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking amantadine if you are pregnant or if you plan to administer it to a child.

Amantadine Recall

There have been no recent recalls of amantadine reported.

Amantadine FDA Approval

Amantadine received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment and prevention of influenza A virus infections. It is also approved for the management of Parkinson's disease and certain movement disorders.

Why is Amantadine Prescribed?

Amantadine is prescribed for the treatment and prevention of influenza A virus infections. It is also used to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and certain movement disorders. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate use of amantadine based on your specific condition.

How Should Amantadine be Used?

Amantadine should be taken exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. It is usually taken orally, with or without food. It is important to follow the instructions provided and not exceed the recommended dosage.

Other Uses for Amantadine

In addition to its primary uses, amantadine has also been investigated for its potential effectiveness in the treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis and as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions.

Special Precautions for Amantadine

Before taking amantadine, inform your healthcare provider of any allergies or medical conditions you may have. It is important to disclose all medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, to avoid any potential drug interactions. Amantadine may cause dizziness or blurred vision, so caution should be exercised when operating machinery or driving.

Storage and Disposal of Amantadine

Amantadine should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep it out of reach of children and pets. If you no longer need the medication or it has expired, follow proper disposal guidelines or consult with your pharmacist for guidance.

In Case of Emergency/Overdose Amantadine

In the event of an emergency or overdose, contact your local poison control center or seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an overdose may include agitation, hallucinations, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

Other Information about Amantadine

It is important to take amantadine exactly as prescribed and complete the full course of treatment. Do not stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider. If you have any questions or concerns about amantadine, it is best to discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Is Amantadine Dangerous?

Amantadine can be a beneficial medication when used as directed by a healthcare professional. However, like any medication, it carries potential risks and side effects. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and guidelines to minimize the potential dangers associated with amantadine. If you experience any concerning symptoms or side effects, seek medical attention promptly.

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