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What Are the Most Common Amantadine Side Effects?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Amantadine is a type of prescription medication that may be used to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease or certain types of influenza. There are a variety of potential side effects associated with the use of this medication, so it should be used with caution. Some of the most common side effects include dizziness, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Additional amantadine side effects may include constipation, diarrhea, and headaches. Some of the more serious side effects may involve psychological disturbances, memory loss, or the development of an irregular heartbeat.

Most amantadine side effects are relatively mild and do not cause enough problems to require the medication to be changed or stopped. With that said, any bothersome or persistent side effects should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. The dizziness experienced by many people often lessens once the body becomes adjusted to the medication. Gastrointestinal disturbances may be reduced by taking the medication with food or milk. In some cases, additional medications may need to be given to treat some of the amantadine side effects.

Psychological disturbances and personality changes are amantadine side effects that should be reported to a doctor immediately. Depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide are frequently reported and must be addressed right away. A mild amount of confusion is to be expected, but severe confusion or an inability to coherently carry on a simple conversation needs to be reported to a medical professional.

Amantadine side effects such as an elevated heart rate, fever, and sweating could indicate the development of a serious medical condition known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and this needs to be evaluated by a doctor right away. Most side effects of this medication are not life threatening, but any bothersome or persistent problems should be reported just to be sure that no serious complications are present.

In some cases, a severe allergic reaction to amantadine may occur. This can be a potentially life-threatening complication and should be treated as a medical emergency. Some of the most common symptoms that indicate the possibility of an allergic reaction include hives, itching, and difficulty breathing. The patient who has this type of reaction often needs to spend some time in the hospital until medically stable. After being released from the hospital, the affected person will usually need to carry an injectible medication known as epinephrine at all times in case a similar reaction to other medications ever develops.

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