Amantadine is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating Parkinson’s disease and some types of influenza. It is also known by the brand name Symmetrel. It has also demonstrated effectiveness in relieving fatigue in people who have all types of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Amantadine is not suitable for use by people who are allergic to rimantadine or who have a certain type of glaucoma, an eye disease.
Amantadine is classified as an antiviral and anti-Parkinsonian drug. It is unknown how it acts to decrease fatigue in those with MS.
How do I take it?
Amantadine is taken orally with food or milk twice a day, usually in the morning and at mid-day in order to avoid disrupting sleep. Avoid alcohol while taking Amantadine.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Amantadine.
A study in 1987 followed 100 with MS and chronic persistent fatigue syndrome over 10 weeks. Those who took Amantadine showed a small but significant decrease in fatigue over those who took the placebo.
Another study in 1995 followed 93 people with MS. Again, those who took Amantadine showed a small but significant decrease in fatigue over those who took a placebo.
Common side effects of Amantadine include nervousness, dry mouth or nose, sleep disturbance, dizziness, loss of balance, blurred vision and a blotchy rash on the legs.
Tell your doctor if you experience shortness of breath, swelling, rapid weight gain, depression, behavior changes, less frequent urination, high fever, stiff muscles, seizures, muscle twitches in your face, jaw or neck, or tremors.
Seek medical help immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, severe dizziness, a rash, or itching or swelling of the face, tongue and throat.