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Last Updated on March 16, 2024

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The active ingredient Amantadine is used to prevent and treat the flu (influenza) and also for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The dosage, however, the mode of action is similar, very different. Here you can read all you need to know to Amantadine, side effects and effectiveness.

How Amantadine works

The drug Amantadine can – help both flu and in

Flu (influenza)

The drug Amantadine is used against the so-called “real flu”, which he, however, is only effective against influenza viruses of type A. Against Type B influenza viruses, Amantadine is not effective.

influenza viruses pass through droplet or smear on the mucous membranes in the body. There they invade the cells lose their shell (also called “uncoating”) and proliferate, by making use of the cell’s own machinery of genetic reproduction. The new viruses are again provided with a sheath and released from the cell. You can now turn infected body cells and force them into virus production.

The flu resources Amantadine prevents “uncoating”, which indeed get the virus into the cell, but there can not get rid of their shell. To prevent virus propagation is possible. So the immune system of the infected person has faster the chance to bring the infection under control, whereby the acute phase of the disease can be shortened.

Parkinson’s Disease

As Amantadine can positively influence the Parkinson’s disease, is far less accurate than its known mode of action in influenza. We know that the active ingredient in several “messenger networks” acts in the brain. Thus alleviating symptoms of the disease are alleviated, especially tremor (), muscle stiffness (rigidity) and sedentary lifestyle / -losigkeit (hypo- / akinesia).

The main effect of Amantadine of influence on the messenger substance is discussed. A lack of dopamine in certain areas of the brain is an essential aspect of the disease. This deficiency is partially mitigated by Amantadine, by promoting the release of the neurotransmitter and its reuptake into the nerve cells (ie the inactivation) inhibits.

Overall, the efficacy of Amantadine for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is not well established. Often, the active ingredient is applied in addition to drug therapy with L-DOPA in Parkinson’s patients in the advanced stage.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of Amantadine

After taking the drug Amantadine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestines and reached there after two to eight hours the highest levels. About the blood of the active substance passes after overcoming the blood-brain barrier into the brain.

Amantadine is not metabolized in the body and excreted in the urine. The elimination rate is dependent on age. On average, leave the body 15 hours after taking half of the active ingredient; in the elderly, this time is extended to about 30 hours.

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When is Amantadine used?

The application includes areas of Amantadine:

  • the prevention and treatment of influenza type A
  • the treatment of Parkinson’s symptoms that are triggered (also called neuroleptics) either by Parkinson’s disease or as a side effect of antipsychotics

The treatment of Parkinson’s disease with Amantadine occurs in the long term. For the prevention of influenza, the active ingredient is taken up to three months; the application for the acute treatment of influenza is usually about ten days.

How Amantadine is used

The intake of Amantadine in the form of tablets is carried out depending on the dosage once or twice daily. The tablet is taken with a glass of water morning and afternoon before 16 clock.

For the prevention and treatment of influenza adults once daily 200 milligrams or 100 milligrams twice daily Amantadine.

The revenue for the relief of Parkinson’s symptoms must be einschleichend, ie: It is started at a low dose, which is then gradually increased to the optimum effectiveness. Also ending the therapy must be gradual, ie tapered off, as otherwise may worsen the symptoms being treated suddenly strong.

What side effects does Amantadine?

The intake of Amantadine can also have adverse drug reactions (ADRs) result. In one of tens to hundreds of patients treated, side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, urinary retention and the skin disease “livedo reticularis” (“marbled skin”) on.

Especially in elderly patients, who are treated with Amantadine in addition to other anti-Parkinson’s drugs to psychosis can develop.

In a hundred to thousands of patients show Amantadine side effects like nausea, when rising from a seated or lying position.

What should I watch for while taking Amantadine?

The drug Amantadine affects the heart rhythm in a certain way – it causes a so-called QT prolongation. In combination with other agents that have this side effect, it can cause serious interactions in the form of cardiac arrhythmia. Examples of such drugs are:

  • drugs to control heart rhythm like quinidine, procainamide, Amiodarone
  • agent for treating psychosis and schizophrenia such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol, pimozide
  • drugs for depression such as Amitriptyline, Citalopram, Fluoxetine
  • antihistamines used to treat allergies such as terfenadine, astemizole, Diphenhydramine
  • antibiotics such as Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Ciprofloxacin
  • agent for fungal infections like clotrimazole, Fluconazole, itraconazole

There are other drugs that cause QT prolongation. Whoever occupies Amantadine, should always discuss any additional intake of medication with the doctor or pharmacist.

For the treatment of Parkinson’s symptoms Amantadine can be combined with other active ingredients. Possibly, however dose adjustments are necessary in order to avoid side effects.

dehydrator (diuretics) such as triamterene and Hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) can interfere with the excretion of Amantadine. As a result, there may be dangerously high Amantadine blood levels.

During the treatment no alcohol should be drunk as Amantadine may reduce alcohol tolerance.

In animal studies it was shown that Amantadine potentially harmful effect on the child during pregnancy. Moreover, since it is excreted in human breast milk, it should not be taken by both pregnant women as well as breastfeeding mothers.

The drug Amantadine is for the treatment of children aged five years and older patients (over 65 years) admitted. However, because of lower body weight of children and the most deteriorated renal function in elderly patients, dosage should be reduced in each case.

How to obtain drugs Amantadine

preparations containing the active substance Amantadine require a prescription in each dose.

Since when Amantadine is known?

Already in the 1960s it was recognized that Amantadine prophylactically effective against some flu viruses, after which it was approved in the US in 1966 for this purpose. Only three years later it was realized a positive effect on parkinsonian symptoms, after which the registration has been extended. There are now on the German market many generics with the active ingredient Amantadine .