Amantadine Hydrochloride Tablets

Amantadine Hydrochloride is a prescription used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 

Parkinson’s disease affects the movement and is a progressive nervous system disorder. The symptoms begin slowly and sometimes it starts with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. For some people with Parkinson’s disease are detected when they are 60 years old or older, but early-onset Parkinson’s disease also occurs. Here are some early signs of Parkinson’s disease;

  • Movement – there may be a tremor in the hands.
  • Gait – the person’s posture may change so that they lean forward slightly as if they were hurrying. They may also develop a shuffling gait.
  • Coordination – a reduced sense of coordination and balance can cause people to drop items they are holding. They may be more likely to fall.
  • Facial expression – this can become fixed, due to changes in the nerves that control facial muscles.
  • Handwriting – this may become more cramped and smaller.
  • Voice – there may be a tremor in the voice, or the person may speak more softly than before.
  • Sleep problems – these are a feature of Parkinson’s, and they may be an early sign. Restless legs may contribute to this.
  • Sense of smell – a loss of sense of smell can be an early sign.

Other common symptoms may include: 

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Mood changes
  • Constipation
  • Problems with urination
  • Sleep problems
  • Skin problems 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Amantadine Hydrochloride helps restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. This comes as a tablet for oral use with the dosage strength of 100 mg. 

How does Amantadine Hydrochloride work?

This medication works in different actions that allow it to control some of the symptoms of the disease.

First, it increases the activity of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain. Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that are involved in transmitting messages between nerve cells. Dopamine is known to be reduced or absent in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. This is thought to be the main cause of the disease’s symptoms. By increasing the release of dopamine in the brain, Amantadine Hydrochloride replaces some of the lost dopamine. Therefore, it reduces some of the symptoms of the disease.

Amantadine Hydrochloride also has a mild anticholinergic effect. This means it prevents the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. There is usually a balance between the activity of dopamine and the activity of acetylcholine in the brain. On the other hand, in Parkinson’s disease, the deficit of dopamine causes overactivity of acetylcholine. By decreasing the activity of the acetylcholine, this medication helps restore the balance of acetylcholine and dopamine in the brain. This as well helps reduce some of the symptoms. 

This medication also affects a third neurotransmitter called glutamate. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural nerve-exciting agent. Overactivity of this neurotransmitter is also thought to play a role in causing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Amantadine Hydrochloride blocks the receptors in the brain that glutamate usually acts on.

Amantadine Hydrochloride has a mild effect against some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But, after some time, several people find that the same dose becomes less effective and therefore its use may be limited. At times, the effectiveness can be restored if the medicine is stopped for a while and then restarted. You should tell your doctor if you notice this medication has become less effective. Amantadine Hydrochloride is usually used in combination with other medicines for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 

How to use Amantadine Hydrochloride?

This is to be taken by mouth usually once a day. You may take each dose with or without food. Swallow the tablet as a whole. Do not break or crush it. Doing so can release the entire drug at once and increase the risk of side effects. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. 

Remember to take this medication at the same time each day. For the best benefit, do not suddenly stop taking this without the consent of your doctor. Your condition may get worse if this is suddenly stopped or if your dose is quickly decreased. Take Amantadine Hydrochloride exactly as it is prescribed. If you missed a dose, call your doctor for instructions. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. 

What are the side effects of Amantadine Hydrochloride?

Common side effects:

  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Strange dreams
  • Sleep problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervous feeling
  • Dry nose 
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Blurred vision 

Call your doctor right away if these side effects occur:

  • Vision changes
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Swelling of the ankles or feet
  • Purplish-red blotchy spots on the skin 

Warnings and Precautions 

  • This medicine may cause dizziness or blurred vision that could affect your ability to perform hazardous activities safely. You should take extra care when driving until you know how it affects you. 
  • Use this with caution in people with liver or kidney disorders, a history of disease that involves the heart and blood vessels, or in people with an underlying condition like schizophrenia.
  • This is not recommended for use in people with severe kidney disease, who suffer from fits, who have a history of stomach ulcers, or untreated closed-angle glaucoma. 
  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Let your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy or pregnant, before taking any medication.
  • If you are taking any other medications including vitamins or herbal/food supplements, inform your doctor. 
  • Tell as well to your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Amantadine Hydrochloride or if you have any allergies. This medication may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.