Generic Equivalent – Amantadine (Symmetrel)




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What is the drug Amantadine for?

As an antiviral medicine, Amantadine is used to treat or prevent influenza A in both adults and children. It is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease and similar symptoms, including tremors or shaking, stiffness, or repetitive uncontrolled muscle movements caused by certain medications.


Even though you have taken Amantadine, you should still get the flu shot annually to help protect against the flu.

Amantadine may not be effective during every season as flu viruses can vary.

Amantadine dosage information:

If you have received a nasal flu vaccine within the last 14 days, you should not use amantadine. Additionally, do not opt to receive a nasal flu vaccine for 48 hours following amantadine.

Amantadine is a prescription medication and should be taken according to the directions on the label.

When taking amantadine to treat flu symptoms, be sure to take your dosage 24 to 48 hours after the initial symptoms appear. Take amantadine for the length of time it has been prescribed, even if your symptoms have subsided.

Amantadine can be taken with or without food. Extended released amantadine capsules should not be broken, crushed or chewed. Extended released capsules should be swallowed whole.

For Parkinson’s disease, do not stop taking amantadine if your condition worsens. Stopping your medications may increase your chances of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to safely stop using amantadine.


Chemical Name AMANTADINE (a-MAN-ta-deen)


It is not recommended that you take amantadine if you have experienced:

  • Fluid retention
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Glaucoma
  • Eczema
  • Low blood pressure, fainting spells
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Mental illness, including suicidal thoughts and instances of psychosis

Do not administer amantadine to children younger than 1 year old. The effects of amantadine in breastmilk are unknown. You should not breastfeed if you are using amantadine.

Side Effects

Side effects associated with amantadine are generally mild and, when they do occur, often cease after a week or more of taking the medication. Amantadine may cause some unwanted, and unusual side effects including increased sexual urges, urges to gamble or other unusual, intense urges. Talk to your doctor if these occur.

Additionally, if you experience any of the following symptoms when taking amantadine, contact your doctor immediately:

• Bloody or cloudy urine
• Difficulty, burning or painful urination
• Bladder pain
• Frequent urge to urinate
• Confusion
• Swelling of the hands, feet or lower legs
• Hallucinations
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• fainting

Older adults taking amantadine may experience:

• Dry mouth
• Swelling of the feet or legs,
• Dizziness
• Constipation
• Nausea
• Insomnia

Common side effects of amantadine include:

• Headaches
• Nausea
• Irritability
• Loss of appetite
• Insomnia
• Anxiety
• Difficulty concentrating

Find out more about Amantadine side effects

You should seek emergency medical attention if you encounter signs of an allergic reaction which can include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

If when taking amantadine you notice that you are experiencing extreme drowsiness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, difficult or painful urination, changes to your mental health (including signs of depression or aggression), severe nervous system reactions (stiff, rigid muscles, sweating, high fever, confusion) seek emergency medical attention.