Active Ingredients

Amantadine – Effect, Application & Risks


Amantadine is used as an active ingredient in influenza A and in Parkinson’s disease . It requires a prescription and is available under a variety of trade names, mostly in tablet form and also as an infusion.

What is amantadine?

The drug amantadine is a derivative of adamantane. It is suitable for the treatment of influenza A flu infection and Parkinson’s disease This makes it one of the groups of antivirals and antiparkinson drugs. It is mainly prescribed in tablet form containing 100 mg, 150 mg or 200 mg of the substances amantadine hydrochloride or amantadine hemisulfate. Dose and dosage form are determined individually by the attending physician.

Another possible application under discussion is the assumed positive influence of amantadine in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms in cocaine addicts . The drug is also used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis .

Pharmacological action

The active ingredient amantadine inhibits the release of viral genetic information into the cytoplasm of the host cell and thus blocks the M2 ion channel protein present in the cell membrane. However, this effect can only be achieved with influenza A type flu viruses with a therapeutic dose of amantadine. Viral resistance to amantadine can develop as a result of a possible mutation of the M2 gene.For effective control of influenza B viruses and other such viruses, amantadine would have to be overdosed, which is why it is not used here.

The exact mechanism of action of amantadine in Parkinson’s disease is not yet entirely clear. As a weak MNDA glutamate receptor-type antagonist, it is thought to increase dopamine release and thus prevent dopamine reuptake. It has a positive effect in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

It has also proven effective in drug-induced parkinsonism and combined with L-DOPA for the treatment of L-DOPA-related dyskinesia. After the administration of amantadine, a reduction in parkinsonian symptoms can be observed.

Medical Application & Use

Amantadine inhibits the multiplication of viruses and relieves the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The drug amantadine can be used preventively in unvaccinated and vaccinated people if there is a risk of infection with the flu virus type A. In the case of flu already caused by influenza A viruses, amantadine can reduce the duration of the fever by around one day. In addition, it reduces the feeling of illness that is otherwise pronounced with a “real” flu. It is best to prescribe amantadine as soon as possible after the onset of the flu in order to achieve its full potential. It should be taken for a day or two after the symptoms of the disease have stopped.

Amantadine for the prevention and treatment of type A influenza should only be used in children from the age of 5 years. In elderly people, the drug should be dosed carefully, especially in delirious patients and those with states of excitement and confusion. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not advised to take amantadine.

In Parkinson’s therapy, amantadine reduces the typical increased activity of the acetylchoninergic striatal interreurones. In addition, as a weak NMDA receptor antagonist, it inhibits the action of glutamatergic projections from the cortex. The exact mode of action of amantadine in the therapy of Parkinson’s disease has not yet been fully clarified. Nevertheless, the results are convincing. Amantadine noticeably relieves the obvious symptoms associated with this disease. It reduces shaking – tremor, reduces movement disorders – akinesia, and reduces physical rigidity – rigidity.

Risks & side effects

When taking amantadine, patients may experience various side effects, the frequency of which is described as uncommon:

The ability to drive and work with machines can be impaired by reduced alertness and possibly reduced vision during therapy with amantadine.

Due to complex interactions with numerous medications, the doctor treating you must be informed if you are taking other preparations. Likewise, amantadine should be used with caution in a variety of chronic and acute diseases.

Amantadine is contraindicated in:

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.