Amantadine hydrochloride is a synthetic tricyclic amine with antiviral properties, developed to treat Influenza A. The drug also has antidyskinetic properties, making it suitable for treating motor control symptoms, such as tremors, stiffness, and shaking in patients with Parkinson’s Disease. This drug may also be effective in treating reduction in motor skills caused by other conditions. Amantadine can be used alone or in conjunction with other anti-Parkinson’s drugs, such as levodopa. In some cases, amantadine may counteract motor control reductions caused by other medications. Amantadine has also been shown to reduce fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis patients.
For more information, including a MSDS sheet, please see PNA’sAmantadine page.
Parkinson’s Disease: Amantadine is used to treat the dyskinetic effects of the disease, including tremors, stiffness, involuntary motions of the upper body, and other motor control irregularities. The drug is thought to work by acting as a dopamine agonist.
Flu treatment1: Amantadine acts as an antiviral that stops virus growth once the flu has already been contracted in adults and in children over the age of 1. Treatment as prophylaxis is not recommended due to resistance in current Influenza A strains.
Other Uses: Amantadine may also be prescribed to combat the side effects of other drugs that cause an imbalance in brain chemistry, to treat a decrease in motor skills, or to relieve fatigue from Multiple Sclerosis.2
Side Effects and Drug Interactions
Common side effects in patients taking amantadine include3:
Red skin blotches
Loss of appetite
Anxiety or changes in mood
Patients allergic to amantadine, or who have suffered side effects from other dopamine agonists should not take this medication. Major drug interactions include4:
Patients on treatment for depression, renal conditions, seizure disorders, congestive heart failure or edema, and hypotension should consult their physicians or pharmacists before taking this medicine.
Latest News and Research
Amantadine was originally developed for the treatment of Influenza A due to the drug’s antiviral properties. In the late 1960s and 70s, the drug showed promise in easing motor skill dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease patients. The drug has since shown to be effective in treating dyskinetic side effects in patients on L-dopa, the first-line treatment for Parkinson’s.5
Although the use of amantadine to treat Influenza A has fallen out of favor, research shows the ingredient may prove useful in treating fatigue in patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.6 Other studies show that amantadine can also help patients regain neurological function after traumatic brain injury and sports-related concussions.78
“Amantadine for Parkinson’s disease,” August 18, 2015, http://patient.info/medicine/amantadine-for-parkinsons-disease ↩
“Amantadine Drug Interactions,” December 1, 2015, http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/amantadine-index.html?filter=3&generic_only=1 ↩
“The Use of Amantadine in Parkinson’s Disease and other Akinetic-Rigid Disorders,” November/December 2004, http://www.acnr.co.uk/pdfs/volume4issue5/v4i5drugs.pdf ↩
“Neurophysiological Correlates of Central Fatigue in Healthy Subjects and Multiple Sclerosis Patients before and after Treatment with Amantadine,” June 17, 2015, http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2015/616242/abs/ ↩
“Placebo-Controlled Trial of Amantadine for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury,” March 1, 2012, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1102609 ↩
Efficacy of Amantadine Treatment on Symptoms and Neurocognitive Performance Among Adolescents Following Sports-Related Concussion,” July/August 2013, http://journals.lww.com/headtraumarehab/Abstract/2013/07000/Efficacy_of_Amantadine_Treatment_on_Symptoms_and.3.aspx ↩