Amantadine review

Amantadine, also known as Symmetrel, is a manmade anti-viral medication that can hamper the duplication of viruses within cells. Currently, its mechanism of action for treating Parkinsons disease is unknown. The effects it has on the illness may be connected to its ability to increase or amplify the effects of dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain whose function is usually compromised in patients with Parkinson's disease). At any rate, this drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996.

Anyone who has Parkinson's disease or wants to prevent the spread of a viral infection (particularly influenza) should use this medicine. However, in order to prevent viral infection, the drug should be present before exposure to the virus just like a vaccine.

It is obviously not a practical treatment for most viral infections even though it has been used to prevent Influenza A during flu season. Then again, even if it's given a day or two after the onset of flu symptoms, it should still be able to decrease the severity of the flu. Nowadays, it's being used to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

This medication should be administered once or twice every day with or without food. In case it causes the patient an upset stomach, take the next dose with food. When treating influenza, this drug should be administered within 24 to 48 hours after the first flu symptoms appear and should be continued 24 to 48 hours after the disappearance of the flu symptoms.

Amantadine is best used to prevent influenza. It must be administered as quickly as possible after flu virus exposure and should be continued for at least ten days. Elderly persons and people with reduced kidney function may need lower doses or less frequent doses of the medication, though.

The most common amantadine side effects include vomiting, nausea, nervousness, inability to sleep, loss of coordination, and dizziness. One out of twenty people have been reported to suffer from these symptoms after undergoing amantadine therapy. These side effects typically emerge after several days or even just a few hours of treatment. Rarer side effects include discolorations in the eye, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, slurred speech, amnesia, weakness, drowsiness, hallucinations, confusion, depression, nightmares, irritability, and headache.

Levodopa is more effective than amantadine in treating Parkinson's disease, but the latter possesses extra advantages when taken together with the former. You should also be aware that amantadine can aggravate the effects of alcohol and other sedatives such as the tricyclic class of antidepressants (Norpamin, Tofranil, and Elavil), the benzodiazepine class of anti-anxiety drugs (Ambien, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan), opiate agonists (Codeine, Vicodin, Dilaudid, and Percocet), certain antihypertensive medications (Catapres and Inderal), and certain antihistamines (Tavist, Atarax, Vistaril, and Benadryl). Combining amantadine with any of the above medications may cause dizziness upon standing, fainting, lightheadedness, and confusion to the patient.

Because this drug augments the actions of dopamine in the brain, other medications that block the effects of dopamine should be avoided while taking amantadine for Parkinson's disease treatment. Such medicines include phenothaizines like Mellaril (thioridazine) and Stelazine (triflupromazine), Haldol (halperidol), and Reglan (metoclopramide). Furthermore, using diuretics hydrochlorothiazide or Dyazide/Maxzide (triamterene) with amantadine can impede the kidney's ability to purge amantadine from your body. This can lead to increased levels of amantadine in your blood and increased risks for amantadine-related side effects as well.

It is currently not known how safe or deadly amantadine is to expecting mothers and their unborn babies. Therefore, consult your doctor in order to determine whether or not amantadine's benefits to the pregnant mother outweigh its risks and disadvantages. Additionally, this drug has been proven to pass into breast milk in low concentrations. Ergo, even though it's not known how toxic amantadine is to infants, nursing mothers are discouraged from breastfeeding their babies while under amantadine therapy. Again, consult your doctor for more details and recommendations.

Amantadine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of amantadine

• Molecular formula of amantadine is C10H17N
• Chemical IUPAC Name is adamantan-1-amine
• Molecular weight is 151.249 g/mol
Amantadine available : 100mg tablets

Brand name(s): Adamantamine, Adamantanamine, Adamantylamine, Adekin, Amantidine, Aminoadamantane, Endantadine, Mantadine, Symadine, Symmetrel

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