Amantadine: Overview

Alternative names: 1-aminoadamantane, sold as Symmetrel®.

Amantadine is an antiviral drug that was approved by the FDA in 1976 for the treatment of Influenzavirus A in adults.

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Influenza A virus causes "avian influenza" (also known as bird flu, avian flu, Influenzavirus A flu, type A flu, or genus A flu).

Early in the 2005-2006 flu season, the CDC found rates of amantadine resistance to be much higher than in previous seasons: A resistance rate of 92.3% for the major flu strain was called "alarmingly high".  The CDC issued an alert to doctors not to prescribe amantadine any more for the season.

Why it is Recommended

The drug has also been demonstrated to help reduce symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Amantadine has been shown to relieve SSRI-induced Anorgasmia in some people, though not in all people.  There have been anecdotal reports that low-dose amantadine has been successfully used to treat ADHD.


Amantadine has been associated with several CNS side-effects, including nervousness, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, difficulty in concentrating, and exacerbations of pre-existing seizure disorders and psychiatric symptoms in patients with Schizophrenia or Parkinson's disease.  Another possible side-effect of amantadine is livedo reticularis, the dermatological reaction that results in skin mottling and purpurish mesh network of blood vessels.

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Amantadine can help with the following:

Organ Health


A study with Amantadine was performed at the Department of Medicine at the Milton S Hershey Medical Center by JP Smith on patients who had previously failed interferon-alpha 2b therapy.  It found that in 22 patients with chronic hepatitis C given 100mg twice daily for an average of 32 months [Dig Dis Sci 1997 Aug;42(8): pp.1681-7], 64% of the patients had decreases in ALT values with 27% having normalization of ALT values and a loss of HCV RNA as measured by PCR.  No side effects were reported.

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