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Generic Name:

amantadine, Oral capsule

All Brands

SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for amantadine

Oral capsule
1

Amantadine is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It’s also used to treat drug-induced movement problems, and prevent and treat infection with influenza (flu) A virus.

2

Amantadine is not a substitute for annual flu shots.

3

Amantadine is available as a tablet, capsule, and oral solution. Amantadine is only available as a generic drug.

4

Common side effects include nausea, dizziness and lightheadedness, and insomnia.

5

Amantadine can cause serious side effects in some people. These side effects include worsening seizures in people with epilepsy, vision problems, and new onset or worsening heart failure in people with heart failure or chronic fluid buildup (edema) in their legs. These side effects can also include death from overdose in people who have kidney problems. It may also cause thoughts and attempts of suicide, especially in people with mental health conditions.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Suicide attempts

Some people who have taken amantadine tried to commit suicide, even some without a history of psychiatric illness. Amantadine also can worsen mental problems in people who have psychiatric problems or substance abuse problems. When people attempt suicide, they usually show abnormal behaviors beforehand, such as confusion, depression, personality changes, agitation, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, paranoia, excessive sleepiness, or insomnia.

Vision problems

People who experience blurry vision or other confusion after taking amantadine should not drive or work in a situation in which it is important to be alert or have the ability to move well.

Stopping the drug too quickly

Do not abruptly stop taking amantadine if you are taking it for Parkinson’s disease. You may experience serious side effects, including agitation, hallucinations, slurred speech, and stupor depression.

What is amantadine?

Amantadine is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral solution, oral capsule, and oral tablet.

Amantadine is only available as a generic drug.

When used to treat Parkinson’s disease, this drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Amantadine is used to treat a variety of movement disorders caused by Parkinson’s disease. It can also be used to treat movement disorders caused by certain drugs (drug-induced movement disorders). This drug is also used to prevent and treat influenza A virus infection.

How it works

Amantadine belongs to a class of drugs called antivirals. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Amantadine belongs to a class of drugs called antivirals. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It is not fully understood how amantadine works as an antiviral or anti-Parkinson’s disease drug. Amantadine can block the multiplying of influenza A virus in the body. In patients with Parkinson’s disease and drug-induced movement disorders, amantadine increases the effect of a chemical in your brain called dopamine. This helps your body better control your movements.

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SECTION 2 of 4

amantadine Side Effects

Oral capsule

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of amantadine include:

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

  • Insomnia

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
  • Hallucinations
  • Abnormal thoughts
  • Coma
  • Intense urges. Examples include:

    • new or increased urges to gamble
    • increased sexual urges
    • impulsive shopping sprees
  • Skin cancer (melanoma). Some people with Parkinson’s disease may have an increased risk of a skin cancer called melanoma. If you take this drug to treat Parkinson’s, you should have a health care provider regularly check your skin.
  • Heart failure. Symptoms include:
    • fluid buildup (edema) in your legs
    • fluid buildup in your chest
    • shortness of breath
    • getting more easily out of breath
    • irregular heartbeat or faster heartbeat or both
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome. This is a rare but sometimes fatal reaction caused by increased dopamine in a certain part of the brain. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • rigid muscles
    • involuntary movements
    • altered consciousness
    • mental status changes
    • fast pulse
    • fast and shallow breathing
    • high or low blood pressure
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
Amantadine does not cause drowsiness.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

amantadine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Amantadine can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Central nervous system stimulants

If you take these drugs with amantadine, you may experience increased nervousness, irritability, insomnia, seizures, or irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). These drugs include:

  • dextroamphetamines
  • atomoxetine
  • methylphenidate

Anticholinergic drugs

Taking amantadine with anticholinergic medicines can increase side effects of both drugs, such as dry mouth, urinary retention, blurred vision, and drowsiness. Anticholinergic drugs include:

  • diphenhydramine
  • scopolamine
  • tolterodine
  • benztropine

Heart drugs

Taking certain heart drugs with amantadine can increase the level of amantadine in your body. This can increase your risk of side effects such as nausea, dizziness, or insomnia. This can also increase your risk of death or other serious side effects from overdose of amantadine. These heart drugs include:

  • triamterene-hydrochlorothiazide

Malaria drugs

Taking certain malaria drugs with amantadine can increase the level of amantadine in your body. This can increase your risk of side effects such as nausea, dizziness, or insomnia. This can also increase your risk of death or other serious side effects from overdose of amantadine. These malaria drugs include:

  • quinine
  • quinidine

Influenza vaccine

Receiving live attenuated influenza vaccine while you’re taking amantadine can lessen the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. People who take amantadine should receive this vaccine either 2 weeks before or 48 hours after taking amantadine. If that is not possible, you should receive a different type of flu vaccine called an inactivated vaccine.

Alcohol interaction
Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of side effects such as dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, and positional low blood pressure (low blood pressure when you stand) from amantadine. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Amantadine warnings
People with epilepsy or seizures
People with epilepsy or seizures

If you have epilepsy or other seizures, taking amantadine can increase the severity and number of seizures you have.

 People with kidney disease
People with kidney disease

Deaths have been reported in people with kidney disease who took more than the recommended dose of amantadine. This can happen with doses as low as 1 g and can cause heart failure, breathing failure, kidney failure, and central nervous system failure.

People with heart disease
People with heart disease

People who have a history of congestive heart failure or peripheral edema (swelling of legs and/or arms) are at increased risk of heart failure when they take amantadine.

People with glaucoma
People with glaucoma
People with certain types of glaucoma should not use amantadine because it can cause the pupils to dilate.
People with recurring eczema-type rash
People with recurring eczema-type rash

If you have a recurring eczema-type rash, taking amantadine can increase the severity of the rash or number of rashes you get.

People with psychiatric disorders
People with psychiatric disorders

If you have a psychiatric disorder and take amantadine, your disorder can become more severe. You may also have increased suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Amantadine is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Amantadine passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this drug.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

You should call the doctor if your Parkinson’s disease gets worse, if your movement disorder gets worse, or if your flu symptoms become more severe. Your doctor may need to change your dose or prescribe a different drug if these things occur.

Allergies
Allergies

Amantadine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • Trouble breathing and swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, such as around the eyes and the mouth
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Rash

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take amantadine (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Parkinson’s disease

Brand: Amantadine (Generic)

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 100 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strength: 100 mg
Form: oral solution
Strength: 50 mg/5 mL
Adult Dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • 100 mg, taken twice per day, when not used with other drugs for Parkinson’s disease
  • Some people may need to start with 100 mg, taken once per day, if they have certain serious medical illnesses or are taking high doses of other drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease.
  • The maximum dosage is 200 mg, taken twice per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It has not been confirmed that amantadine is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects

Special Considerations

Kidney Disease: Your dose will depend on the severity of your kidney disease. You may take 200 mg of amantadine on the first day, then 100 mg per day thereafter. However, you may take 200 mg on the first day then 100 mg every other day. If you have very severe kidney disease or are on dialysis, you shouldn’t take any more than 200 mg, once per week.

Warnings

Death from overdose has been reported in a person who ingested 1 g (1,000 mg) of amantadine. There is no antidote for this type of overdose, so it is extremely important that you take amantadine exactly as your doctor prescribed it.

Drug-induced movement problems

Brand: Amantadine (Generic)

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 100 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strength: 100 mg
Form: oral solution
Strength: 50 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • 100 mg, taken twice per day
  • Some people may need to take 300 mg per day in divided doses.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It has not been confirmed that amantadine is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Special Considerations

Kidney Disease: Your dose will depend on the severity of your kidney disease. You may take 200 mg of amantadine on the first day, then 100 mg per day thereafter. However, you may take 200 mg on the first day then 100 mg every other day. If you have very severe kidney disease or are on dialysis, you shouldn’t take any more than 200 mg, once per week.

Warnings

Death from overdose has been reported in a person who ingested 1 g (1,000 mg) of amantadine. There is no antidote for this type of overdose, so it is extremely important that you take amantadine exactly as your doctor prescribed it.

FDA-Approved Uses Influenza A virus infection

Brand: Amantadine (Generic)

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 100 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strength: 100 mg
Form: oral solution
Strength: 50 mg/5 mL
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

200 mg, taken once per day, or 100 mg, taken twice per day

Child dosage (ages 0–11 months)

It has not been confirmed that amantadine is safe and effective for use in people younger than 1 year.

Child dosage (ages 1–9 years)
  • The dose is based on weight.
  • It should not exceed 150 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 9–12 years)

The total daily dose is 200 mg, given as one tablet or capsule of 100 mg, twice per day or as 2 teaspoons of oral solution, twice per day.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
  • 100 mg per day
Special Considerations

Kidney Disease: Your dose will depend on the severity of your kidney disease. You may take 200 mg of amantadine on the first day, then 100 mg per day thereafter. However, you may take 200 mg on the first day then 100 mg every other day. If you have very severe kidney disease or are on dialysis, you shouldn’t take any more than 200 mg, once per week.

Warnings

Death from overdose has been reported in a person who ingested 1 g (1,000 mg) of amantadine. There is no antidote for this type of overdose, so it is extremely important that you take amantadine exactly as your doctor prescribed it.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Amantadine comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

If you stop taking the drug suddenly, this might cause delirium, agitation, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, depression, or slurred speech. If you don’t take the drug at all your condition will not get better.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body or you could die. If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room. Symptoms of overdose include trouble breathing, fast or irregular heart rhythm, high blood pressure, confusion, hallucinations, and fluid buildup (edema) in your legs.

How to tell if the drug is working

If you are taking amantadine for Parkinson’s disease, you should have fewer tremors. You should also feel less rigid and be able to move more smoothly.

If you are taking this drug for drug-induced movement problems, you should be able to move more smoothly and control your movements better.

If you are taking this drug for influenza A infection, you should have fewer flu symptoms or flu that doesn’t last very long.

Length of treatment depends on your condition.

Amantadine is used for short-term treatment of influenza. It’s used for long-term treatment of Parkinson’s disease and drug-induced movement problems.

Important considerations for taking amantadine
take with or without food
You can take amantadine with or without food.
can crush tablet
You can cut or crush the tablet. You should not open the capsule.
Storage
Store amantadine at room temperature
See Details
A prescription for this medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
Not Usually Stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
Insurance
Insurance
See Details

Store amantadine at room temperature

Keep it from 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). It can be temporarily stored in temperatures from 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Keep it away from high temperatures.

Do not store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will test you while you take this drug. Your doctor will check your kidney function. If you take this drug for Parkinson’s disease, you will need to see a dermatologist periodically. This is to check your skin for possible melanoma.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 14, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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