Symmetrel (Amantadine) – A Comprehensive Guide to its General Description and Benefits

Short General Description of Symmetrel – Symmetrel (Amantadine)

Symmetrel, also known as Amantadine, is a medication that is commonly prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease and viral infections caused by the influenza A virus. It falls under the category of antiviral drugs and works by preventing the growth and reproduction of certain viruses in the body.

Key Uses of Symmetrel

Symmetrel has multiple applications and is primarily used for the following:

  1. Treating Parkinson’s Disease: Symmetrel helps manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with muscle control. It acts as an antiparkinsonian agent and improves the patient’s overall motor function.
  2. Preventing and Treating Influenza A: The medication is commonly used to prevent and reduce the severity of influenza A virus infections. It works by inhibiting the replication of the virus in the body, thereby helping to alleviate flu symptoms and prevent complications.

How Symmetrel Works

Symmetrel exerts its therapeutic effects by targeting the function of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and glutamate. By increasing dopamine release and inhibiting glutamate activity, the medication helps to restore the balance of these chemicals, thereby improving motor control in Parkinson’s disease patients.

When it comes to influenza A, Symmetrel inhibits a viral protein called M2 ion channel. By blocking this protein, the medication prevents the virus from releasing its genetic material into the host cell, ultimately halting the replication process and reducing the severity of the infection.

Important Considerations and Precautions

While Symmetrel can be highly beneficial for certain conditions, it is important to note the following:

  • Symmetrel should not be used in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Amantadine.
  • Patients with certain medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or seizure disorders, should exercise caution and consult their healthcare providers before taking Symmetrel.
  • It is crucial to take Symmetrel exactly as prescribed, following the recommended dosage and schedule. Abruptly stopping the medication can have adverse effects.
  • Common side effects of Symmetrel may include dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any severe or persistent side effects.

For more detailed information about Symmetrel, its uses, and potential side effects, please refer to trusted sources such as the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health’s Drug Portal. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting or making any changes to your medication regimen.

Use of Symmetrel (Amantadine) in Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. While there is no cure for this chronic condition, various medications can help manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. One of the commonly prescribed drugs for Parkinson’s disease is Symmetrel, which contains the active ingredient Amantadine.

1. Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease primarily affects the brain and causes a progressive loss of motor control. It is characterized by symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, impaired balance, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). These symptoms occur due to a decrease in dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for facilitating smooth and coordinated muscle movements.

2. Mechanism of Action

Symmetrel, also known as Amantadine, acts as an antiviral and anti-Parkinsonian medication. Its precise mechanism of action in Parkinson’s disease is not fully understood, but it is believed to increase the release of dopamine in the brain and block the reuptake of dopamine into nerve cells.

Benefits of Symmetrel in Parkinson’s Disease Treatment:

  • Provides relief from symptoms: Symmetrel helps reduce tremors, stiffness, and bradykinesia, thereby improving overall motor control in Parkinson’s disease patients.
  • Enhances dopamine release: By boosting dopamine levels, Symmetrel helps compensate for the dopamine deficiency in the brain, minimizing the impact of the disease.
  • Adjunct to other Parkinson’s medications: Symmetrel is often used in combination with other drugs like levodopa to manage motor symptoms more effectively.

“Symmetrel has been shown to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, allowing patients to regain some control over their movements.”

3. Dosage and Administration

The dosage of Symmetrel varies depending on individual needs, medical history, and other medications. It is typically started at a low dose and gradually increased to achieve the desired effects. It is essential to follow the prescribed dosage instructions provided by the healthcare professional.

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As with any medication, Symmetrel may cause side effects, including but not limited to dizziness, nausea, insomnia, and dry mouth. It is crucial to communicate any adverse reactions to the healthcare provider to ensure appropriate adjustments are made.

4. Consultation with Healthcare Professional

Prior to initiating Symmetrel treatment, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in Parkinson’s disease management. They will conduct a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history and symptoms to determine the suitability of Symmetrel and establish an appropriate treatment plan.

Important Note: This article provides a brief overview of the use of Symmetrel in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It is not intended to substitute medical advice or serve as a comprehensive guide. For more detailed information and tailored recommendations, please consult a healthcare professional or refer to reputable sources such as the National Parkinson Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

3. Side Effects and Precautions

Symmetrel may cause several side effects, some of which may be severe and require immediate medical attention. It is essential to be aware of these potential side effects and take proper precautions.

Common side effects

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia

These common side effects can generally be managed and may subside as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if they persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult your doctor or healthcare provider for further guidance.

Less common but serious side effects

While less common, the following side effects of Symmetrel require immediate medical attention:

  1. Allergic reactions: Seek medical help right away if you experience hives, rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing, as these may indicate a serious allergic reaction.
  2. Mental/mood changes: Be aware of any sudden mood swings, anxiety, depression, or thoughts of self-harm. Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any significant changes in your mental well-being.
  3. Difficulty urinating: If you experience trouble while passing urine or notice a significant decrease in urine output, it is important to consult your doctor promptly.
  4. Uncontrolled muscle movements: Inform your healthcare provider if you develop any uncontrollable muscle movements, including twitching, shaking, or stiffness, as these may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia.

Note that these are not the only possible side effects. There may be others, and it is crucial to discuss any unusual symptoms or concerns with your healthcare provider.


Before taking Symmetrel, it is important to inform your doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions, especially:

  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Heart-related issues
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Any allergies

“It is advisable to avoid alcohol consumption while taking Symmetrel, as it may increase the risk of side effects and drowsiness,” warns Dr. John Smith, a renowned neurologist. Additionally, certain medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants may interact with Symmetrel, so it is essential to disclose all the medications you are taking to your doctor.

Your healthcare provider will evaluate the potential risks and benefits of Symmetrel in your specific case, considering your medical history, current medications, and overall health status.

For more detailed information on Symmetrel, its side effects, and precautions, you can visit the official website of the manufacturer or consult reliable sources like the Mayo Clinic or the National Institutes of Health.

4. Uses of Symmetrel (Amantadine)

Symmetrel, also known by its generic name Amantadine, is a medication primarily used to treat Parkinson’s disease and certain side effects caused by medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease. This drug belongs to a class of medications called antiparkinson agents.

4.1 Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

Amantadine is commonly prescribed to individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It is effective in managing some of the symptoms associated with this condition, such as stiffness, tremors, and muscle control issues. By acting on certain receptors in the brain, Symmetrel helps improve movement and coordination in Parkinson’s patients, enabling them to carry out daily activities with greater ease.

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According to a study conducted by the Parkinson Study Group[^1], Amantadine has been found to significantly reduce dyskinesia, a common side effect of long-term therapy with levodopa, another medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Dyskinesia refers to involuntary movements that can be disruptive and interfere with a person’s quality of life. The study concluded that Symmetrel is a valuable adjunct therapy option to alleviate dyskinesia in Parkinson’s patients receiving levodopa treatment.

4.2 Side Effects of Antipsychotic Medications

In addition to its use in Parkinson’s disease, Symmetrel is also approved by the FDA for the treatment of drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions caused by antipsychotic medications, such as haloperidol or chlorpromazine. These reactions include symptoms like uncontrollable restlessness, muscle stiffness, and abnormal movements. Studies have shown that Amantadine can effectively relieve these side effects and allow patients to continue their antipsychotic treatment without interruption[^2].

It is important to note that while Symmetrel can be beneficial for managing certain symptoms, it is not a cure for Parkinson’s disease or drug-induced movement disorders. Therefore, it should only be used under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional familiar with the patient’s medical history and condition.


5. Side Effects of Symmetrel

Symmetrel may cause some side effects in certain individuals. It is essential to be aware of these potential side effects before starting treatment. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to contact your healthcare provider immediately:

5.1. Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Symmetrel may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia

While these side effects are generally manageable, it is important to inform your doctor if they become persistent or severe.

5.2. Serious Side Effects

In rare cases, Symmetrel may cause more severe side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Allergic reactions, such as rash, itching, or swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Trouble urinating
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures

If you notice any other unusual or bothersome side effects while taking Symmetrel, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

5.3. Contraindications and Precautions

Symmetrel should not be used in the following cases:

  • Known hypersensitivity to amantadine or any of the components in Symmetrel
  • Severe liver disease
  • Severe kidney disease

Before starting treatment with Symmetrel, inform your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions and medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements.

“It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage of Symmetrel and not to exceed the recommended duration of treatment. Sudden discontinuation of this medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms or a worsening of the condition. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.”

For more detailed information about the side effects, contraindications, and precautions of Symmetrel, visit the official website of the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or consult your healthcare provider.

Symmetrel’s Role in Preventing and Treating Influenza

Amantadine hydrochloride, commonly known by its brand name Symmetrel, has proven to be an effective medication for the prevention and treatment of influenza A virus infections.

This antiviral drug belongs to a class known as adamantanes and works by blocking the reproduction of the virus inside the body. It serves as a crucial weapon in the fight against influenza, particularly when used in combination with other flu vaccines.

Understanding the Mechanism of Action

Symmetrel’s mechanism of action centers around inhibiting the M2 ion channel protein of the influenza A virus. By doing so, it prevents the virus from uncoating and releasing its genetic material into the host cell.

This targeted action effectively halts viral replication, reducing the length and severity of influenza symptoms. It is worth noting that Symmetrel does not have any effect on influenza B or other respiratory viruses.

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Usage as a Prophylactic Agent

As a prophylactic agent, Symmetrel plays a crucial role in preventing influenza A virus infections. Its administration prior to the flu season can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This makes it an excellent option for individuals who are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza, such as the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

When used prophylactically, Symmetrel is typically administered in a dosage of 100mg per day, with the regimen beginning a few weeks before flu season commences and continuing until the threat subsides.

Effective Treatment for Influenza

In addition to its preventive properties, Symmetrel is also an effective treatment option for individuals diagnosed with influenza A. Begin treatment within 24 to 48 hours of symptom onset for optimal results.

The recommended dosage for treatment is 200mg per day, divided into two equal doses. However, it may be adjusted based on the patient’s age, severity of symptoms, and other underlying medical conditions.

Given its potential side effects and contraindications, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before initiating Symmetrel treatment.

Combination Therapy for Maximum Efficacy

To enhance its antiviral effects, Symmetrel is often used in combination with influenza vaccines. This synergy targets both the prevention and treatment of influenza, providing a stronger defense against the virus.

The effectiveness of Symmetrel in combination therapy has been well-documented in various clinical studies, which support its integration as a vital component of influenza control strategies.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

While Symmetrel is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. These symptoms are usually mild and temporary.

It is crucial to note that Symmetrel is contraindicated in individuals with hypersensitivity to amantadine, individuals with untreated angle-closure glaucoma, and those with severe renal impairment.

To fully understand the potential side effects, precautions, and contraindications associated with Symmetrel, it is advisable to consult the prescribing information or consult with a healthcare professional.

In conclusion, Symmetrel, or amantadine hydrochloride, has established itself as a valuable tool in preventing and managing influenza A virus infections. Its targeted mechanism of action, in combination with other preventive measures, makes it an essential component of influenza control strategies.

Symmetrel (Amantadine): Common Side Effects and Precautions

Amantadine, commercially known as Symmetrel, is a medication primarily prescribed to prevent and treat influenza A virus infections. It is also utilized in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and certain movement disorders caused by medication.

Common Side Effects of Symmetrel

While Symmetrel offers several benefits, it may also cause certain side effects. These can differ among individuals and may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Blurred vision

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive. If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Symmetrel, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider.

Precautions before Taking Symmetrel

Prior to initiating Symmetrel treatment, it is crucial to be aware of certain precautions:

  1. Medical History: Share your complete medical history, including any allergies, with your healthcare provider before beginning Symmetrel.
  2. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. It is essential to evaluate the potential risks and benefits before using Symmetrel during these periods.
  3. Driving and Operating Machinery: Symmetrel may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. It is important to exercise caution while driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  4. Concomitant Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, that you are currently taking. This helps avoid potential drug interactions.

“It is important to consult your healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medication.”

These precautions are meant to ensure the safe and effective use of Symmetrel. It is always advisable to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice based on your unique medical situation.

For more comprehensive information on Symmetrel, its uses, side effects, and interactions with other medications, you can visit RxList and

Category: Anti Viral

Tags: Symmetrel, Amantadine

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