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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? Yes
  • Drug class: Antiviral, antiparkinsonism


  • Prevention and treatment for Type-A flu infections.
  • Relief for symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Capsule--Swallow with liquid or food to lessen stomach irritation.
Syrup--Dilute dose in beverage before swallowing.

When to take:
At the same time each day. For Type-A flu it is especially important to take regular doses as prescribed.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember. Wait 4 hours for next dose. Return to schedule.

What drug does:
Type-A flu--May block penetration of tissue cells by infectious material from virus cells.
Parkinson's disease and drug-induced extrapyramidal* reactions--Improves muscular condition and coordination.

Time lapse before drug works:
Type-A flu--48 hours.
Parkinson's disease--2 days to 2 weeks.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Heart rhythm disturbances, blood pressure drop, convulsions, hallucinations, violent behavior, confusion, slurred speech, rolling eyes.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or 0 (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    In case of overdose, see previous section.


    Headache, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness or lightheadedness, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, nightmares, appetite loss, nausea, purplish red spots on skin.


  • Blurred or changed vision, confusion, difficult urination, hallucinations, fainting.
  • Constipation; dry mouth, nose or throat; vomiting.


  • Swelling or irritated eyes; depression; swelling of hands, legs or feet; skin rash.
  • Seizures (may occur in persons with a history of seizures).

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to amantadine or rimantadine.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have had epilepsy or other seizures.
  • If you have had heart disease or heart failure.
  • If you have had liver or kidney disease.
  • If you have had peptic ulcers.
  • If you have had eczema or skin rashes.
  • If you have had emotional or mental disorders or taken drugs for them.

Over age 60:
Adverse reactions and side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.

Studies inconclusive on harm to unborn child. Animal studies show fetal abnormalities. Decide with your doctor whether benefits justify risk to unborn child.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
Use only under medical supervision.

Prolonged use:
Skin splotches, feet swelling, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath. Consult doctor.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes.


  • Parkinson's disease--May lose effectiveness in 3 to 6 months. Consult doctor.
  • These drugs are not effective for influenza-B virus.
  • Drug-resistant strains of the virus may occur within the same household.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------- -----------------------
Amphetamines* Increased antiviral effect. Possible
excessive stimulation and agitation.
Anticholinergics* Increased benefit, but excessive anti-
cholinergic dose produces mental
confusion, hallucinations, delirium.
Antidyskinetics* Increased risk of confusion, hallucina-
tions, nightmares.
Antihistamines* Increased risk of confusion, hallucina-
tions, nightmares.
Appetite Increased antiviral effect. Possible
suppressants* excessive stimulation and agitation.
Central nervous Increased risk of adverse reactions.
Cisapride Decreased antiviral effect.
Levodopa Increased benefit of levodopa. Can cause
Phenothiazines* Increased risk of confusion, hallucina-
tions, nightmares.
Sympathomimetics* Increased antiviral effect. Possible
excessive stimulation and agitation.
Tricyclic Increased risk of confusion, hallucina-
antidepressants* ations, nightmares.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Increased alcohol effect. Possible
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: Dangerous overstimulation.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: None expected.
Tobacco: None expected.

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