What Meds

Psychiatric Medications

Brand Name: Symmetrel, Symadine

Amantadine is an anti-parkinsonian and anti-viral used to treat Parkinson’s disease, including the side effects of many other drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease because of it’s ability to improve muscle control. It is also used to prevent and treat influenza A infections. It has the ability to increase dopamine levels, which may explain both its effects in reducing tremors and its effect on depression and dementia. When amantadine is used to treat the flu, it helps to block viruses from entering cells.

Amantadine’s effects can often be felt within 2 days when used to treat Parkinson’s or similar symptoms, but it may take up to 2 weeks for the full effects to be felt. Amantadine is not habit-forming and is considered safe for long-term use.

The exact mechanism of action of Amantadine is unknown, but it is thought that it strengthens response of neurons to stimulation by dopamine and antagonizes NMDA receptors.

Why is this drug prescribed?
Amantadine is FDA-approved to treat:

Amantadine is also used to treat:

Amantadine is not FDA approved for these other uses, but they are generally accepted.

How much of this drug is typically used?
Tablet: 100mg
Syrup: 50mg/5ml
Capsule: 100mg

Warnings and Precautions
Avoid alcohol when taking amantadine.

For Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: amantadine should not be taken during pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in danger. Amantadine is not safe to take while breastfeeding.

Amantadine should not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Amantadine may be used with caution in children and in people over 60 years of age. For both these groups, the dosage should start low and be carefully monitored.

Adverse Reactions
Amantadine may cause the following reactions:


Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with amantadine include:

Use in Child Psychiatry
Amantadine is not commonly used in child psychiatry. However, there have been some reports that it may have some benefit in certain conditions. One review published in 2007 found that it helps with alertness and arousal in children who have suffered brain injuries [1]. Amantadine may help with weight gain in children who are on psychotropic medications such as mood stabilizers and antipsychotics [2]. Amantadine may also help improve behaviors such as hyperactivity and irritability in children with developmental disabilities and autism [3,4].


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