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Amantadine (By mouth)

Treats or prevents the flu (influenza type A). Also treats Parkinson's disease (including dyskinesia) and parkinson-like symptoms caused by certain medicines.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Amantadine is an antiviral medicine. It is used to prevent or treat certain influenza (flu) infections (type A). It may be given alone or together with flu shots. Amantadine will not work for colds, other types of flu, or other virus infections. Amantadine is also an antidyskinetic medicine. It is used to treat Parkinson's disease (sometimes called "paralysis agitans" or "shaking palsy") and its… Read more
Brand names include
Gocovri, Osmolex ER, Symmetrel
Drug classes About this
Antiparkinsonian, Antiviral

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine for preventing and treating the symptoms of influenza A in adults

The drugs amantadine and rimantadine can both help prevent and relieve the symptoms of influenza A in adults, but amantadine has more adverse effects.

There is not enough evidence about the safety and effectiveness of amantadine for people with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease causes progressive muscle rigidity, tremors and other symptoms. The most common drug used to try and relieve these symptoms is levodopa, but serious physical and psychiatric adverse effects are common. Amantadine is another option, used alone or with levodopa. Amantadine can have serious adverse effects (including psychiatric problems), and people can become resistant to the drug. The review found that there is not enough evidence from trials about the effects of amantadine for people with Parkinson's disease. Adverse effects in trials so far have not been severe, and included skin rash, dry mouth and blurred vision.

The effect of amantadine for the treatment of fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease affecting young and middle‐aged adults. One of the most common and disabling symptoms of MS is fatigue. Different approaches have been used to try and improve this, including energy conservation, specialised fitness training and drug treatments. Amantadine has been used to try to relieve fatigue in MS. This review found that Amantadine efficacy in reducing MS‐related fatigue and its tolerability are poorly documented and more research is needed.

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Summaries for consumers

Antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine for preventing and treating the symptoms of influenza A in adults

The drugs amantadine and rimantadine can both help prevent and relieve the symptoms of influenza A in adults, but amantadine has more adverse effects.

There is not enough evidence about the safety and effectiveness of amantadine for people with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease causes progressive muscle rigidity, tremors and other symptoms. The most common drug used to try and relieve these symptoms is levodopa, but serious physical and psychiatric adverse effects are common. Amantadine is another option, used alone or with levodopa. Amantadine can have serious adverse effects (including psychiatric problems), and people can become resistant to the drug. The review found that there is not enough evidence from trials about the effects of amantadine for people with Parkinson's disease. Adverse effects in trials so far have not been severe, and included skin rash, dry mouth and blurred vision.

The effect of amantadine for the treatment of fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease affecting young and middle‐aged adults. One of the most common and disabling symptoms of MS is fatigue. Different approaches have been used to try and improve this, including energy conservation, specialised fitness training and drug treatments. Amantadine has been used to try to relieve fatigue in MS. This review found that Amantadine efficacy in reducing MS‐related fatigue and its tolerability are poorly documented and more research is needed.

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