amantadine (generic name)

It is used to prevent and to treat a specific type of flu called influenza A
(a MAN ta deen)
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What is this medicine?

AMANTADINE (a MAN ta deen) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to prevent and to treat a specific type of flu called influenza A. It will not work for colds, other types of flu, or other viral infections. This medicine is also used to treat Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • glaucoma
  • depression or other mental illness
  • eczema
  • heart failure or circulation problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • seizures
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to amantadine, rimantadine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think your are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early. Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 year old for selected conditions, precautions do apply. Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • bupropion
  • quinidine
  • quinine
  • some diuretics
  • some flu vaccines
  • some medicines for cold or allergies
  • stimulants
  • sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim
  • thioridazine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you are taking this medicine for Parkinson's disease or a movement disorder, be careful. Slowly increase your daily activities as your condition improves. Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction.

You may get dry mouth or eyes, or blurry vision while taking this medicine. Try sugarless gum or hard candy, and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and carefully to avoid teeth and gum problems. You may want to wet your eyes with lubricating eye drops. Talk to your doctor if these symptoms become a problem.

There have been reports of increased sexual urges or other strong urges such as gambling while taking some medicines for Parkinson's disease. If you experience any of these urges while taking this medicine, you should report it to your health care provider as soon as possible.

You should check your skin often for changes to moles and new growths while taking this medicine. Call your doctor if you notice any of these changes.

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Last Updated: March 10, 2009
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