Amantadine (Symmetrel®)

What are the facts?What are the Facts?

  • Initially developed as an antiviral medication to treat influenza in the 1960s and was coincidentally discovered as a treatment for PD.
  • Amantadine usually provides only mild relief. It is seldom used in early stages of PD.
  • Amantadine is used in combination with levodopa to treat dyskinesias.
  • Most commonly available as 100 mg capsule, although liquid and tablet forms can also be obtained.

Amantadine may be particularly beneficial in people with PD who have prominent tremor or bothersome levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

What are the Side Effects?

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • LivedoReticularis-a lacey, purplish discoloration of the skin on the legs with some leg swelling. Occurs in less than 1% of people with PD who take this medication.

Caution: PD medications may have interactions with certain foods, other medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, over the counter cold pills and other remedies.  Anyone taking a PD medication should talk to their doctor and pharmacist about potential drug interactions.

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Medical content reviewed by: Nina Browner, MD—Medical Director of the NPF Center of Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in North Carolina and by Fernando Pagan, MD—Medical Director of the NPF Center of Excellence at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

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