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What is Amantadine HCl?
Amantadine HCl is an antiviral drug that inhibits the actions of viruses in the body. It is used primarily in the treatment and prevention of Influenza A which is a viral infection. However, Amantadine HCl is not recommended in some flu seasons as some flu strains may be resistant to this drug. This medicine is also prescribed in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and ‘Parkinson like’ symptoms like stiffness and shaking that may be induced by use of certain drugs.
Amantadine HCl is sold under various trade names, a couple of which are Symmetrel and Amantrel (made by Cipla). This medicine may also be prescribed for conditions not listed here.
Important Information about Amantadine HCl
Do not take FluMist nasal influenza live vaccine while you are taking Amantadine HCl antiviral drug (Symmetrel, Amantrel) and for at least 48 hours after you stop taking it. The reason for this is that the nasal vaccine may be not as effective if you take it while taking Amantadine HCl. You must also inform your doctor if you have taken a nasal flu vaccine in the last 14 days.
Inform your doctor in advance if you have any of these conditions: epilepsy or other seizure disorder, congestive heart failure, kidney or liver disease, low blood pressure, eczema, glaucoma, or a history of mental illness, suicide attempt, or drug or alcohol addiction.
Amantadine HCl can impact your thinking, vision, or reflexes. So take extra care while doing activities like driving or other that require a high level of vision and mental alertness. You may also have increased sexual urges, unusual cravings to gamble, or other such cravings while taking this medicine. Discuss this with your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s directions and take the medicine for the full prescribed period even if your symptoms subside. The infection might still not be cleared from your body.
Amantadine HCl is an FDA pregnancy category C drug. It is not known if it can harm an unborn child if taken while being pregnant. This medicine can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking this medicine and ask him or her if it is safe for you to take this Amantadine HCl during pregnancy or breast feeding.
Before taking Amantadine HCl
Do not take Amantadine HCl antiviral medicine (Symmetrel, Amantrel) if you are allergic to it, or if you have taken a nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) within the last 14 days. Remember to take care of all precautions and points mentioned above before taking this medicine. Discuss them with your doctor and clarify all doubts which you may have about this drug.
How should I take Amantadine HCl?
Take Amantadine HCl medicine strictly according to your doctor’s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication.
Take Amantadine HCl capsule with a full glass of water. If you are taking this medicine for Influenza A, start taking it 24 to 48 hours after flu symptoms begin. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully. Store Amantadine HCl in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Amantadine HCl, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Amantadine HCl, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately. Overdose may lead to fever, anxiety, severe headache, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, aggression, personality changes, tremors, loss of coordination, irregular heart-beating, decreased or no urination, breathing trouble, seizure, or fainting.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Amantadine HCl
Do not take FluMist nasal influenza live vaccine while you are taking Amantadine HCl and for at least 48 hours after you stop taking it. This medicine can impact your thinking, vision, or reflexes. So take extra care while activities like driving or other such activities that require a high level of vision and mental alertness. Also avoid alcohol, diet pills, caffeine pills, or other stimulants like ADHD medicines without asking your doctor. Taking these drugs may increase the likelihood of some of the side effects of Amantadine HCl.
Amantadine HCl Side Effects
Some common side effects of Amantadine HCl are blurred vision, nausea, stomach upset, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, dry mouth, constipation, nervousness, or trouble sleeping. If any of these side effects persist or deteriorate, get medical help right away.
Amantadine HCl can some rare but serious side effects such as purplish-red blotchy spots on the skin, swelling of the ankles and feet, difficulty in urinating, vision changes, shortness of breath, mood and behavior changes (depression, suicidal thoughts or attempt, compulsive behavior like gambling urges), muscle stiffness, uncontrolled muscle movements, unusual sweating, or seizures.
The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Amantadine HCl. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Amantadine HCl Dosing Information
Amantadine HCl dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice properly for best results.
What other drugs can interact with Amantadine HCl?
Some drugs that can interact with Amantadine HCl include atropine, dicyclomine, glycopyrrolate, hyoscyamine, mepenzolate, propantheline, methscopolamine, scopolamine, quinine, quinidine, a diuretic, or phenothiazines. However, these are not the only medicines that can interact with Amantadine HCl. There may be others as well. Inform your doctor about all other medicines and related products which you may be using. Never start a new medication without consulting your doctor first.
- Do not take amantadine, if you have fits (epilepsy); heart failure resulting in fluid build-up in the lungs, other body tissues or both (congestive heart failure); kidney or liver problems.
- Avoid using amantadine, if you have ulcers in stomach or intestine; low blood pressure that may cause fainting; itchy skin rashes (eczema).
- Do not take amantadine, if you have visual problems due to increased pressure in the eyes (glaucoma); history of mental problems including attempting suicide, confusion, seeing or hearing things that are not really there (hallucinations).
- Avoid using amantadine, if you are addicted to any drug or alcohol.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol while on treatment with amantadine.
- Do not stop taking amantadine abruptly without consulting your doctor. It may cause worsening of Parkinson’s disease.
- Do not stop taking amantadine abruptly without consulting your doctor if you are concurrently receiving medications for psychiatric problems (neuroleptics).
- Use of amantadine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, fainting or blurring of vision that may affect your ability to drive or operate machines. Do not drive or operate machines till you feel better.
- Do consult your doctor before taking amantadine if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.