AMANTADINE (Symmetrel®) prevents or treats certain influenza (flu) infections. It is not an effective treatment for colds or other viruses. Amantadine can also improve muscle control and reduce muscle stiffness in patients with Parkinson's disease or similar movement disorders. Generic amantadine capsules are available.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions: • closed-angle glaucoma • depression or other mental illness • eczema • heart or circulation problems • kidney disease • liver disease • low blood pressure • seizures (convulsions) • an unusual or allergic reaction to amantadine, rimantadine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives • pregnant or trying to get pregnant • breast-feeding
How should I take this medicine?
Take amantadine capsules or tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow whole with a full glass of water. If it upsets your stomach you can take amantadine with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your prescriber or health care professional even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with amantadine?
• alcohol • bupropion • caffeine • haloperidol • hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ; triamterene • medicines for hay fever and other allergies • medicines for depression or other mental illness • metoclopramide • quinidine • quinine • sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim, SMX-TMP
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking amantadine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: • changes in vision • depression or thoughts of suicide • difficulty passing urine • fainting spells or lightheadedness • hallucinations (seeing things that are not really there) • movement difficulties • purplish spots or network on the skin • seizures (convulsions) • swelling of the feet or legs
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): • anxiety, irritability, nervousness • diarrhea or constipation • difficulty sleeping, or nightmares • drowsiness • dry mouth • headache • loss of appetite • nausea or vomiting • unusual tiredness
What should I watch for while taking amantadine?
Let your prescriber or health care professional know if your symptoms do not improve in a few days.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how amantadine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy, increase confusion and lightheadedness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
If you are taking amantadine for a movement disorder, do not suddenly stop taking it. You may get muscle stiffness, paralysis, confusion, or find it difficult to pass urine.
If you are taking amantadine for Parkinson's disease, be careful not to overdo physical activity as your condition improves. Gradually increase activity so that your body has time to adjust.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help. Brush and floss teeth regularly and carefully to avoid problems with the mouth and gums.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.