Symmetrel is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1976 for treating motor symptoms associated with all forms of Parkinsonism. Symmetrel is sometimes prescribed to treat dyskinesia in people who are taking Levodopa/Carbidopa. Symmetrel is also known by its drug name, amantadine.
Symmetrel is not suitable for use by people who are allergic to amantadine. Symmetrel should be used with caution in people with glaucoma, mental illness, depression, a history of seizures, low blood pressure, frequent rashes, or problems with the liver, kidney, or heart. Symmetrel may not be appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Symmetrel is classified as an antiviral and anti-Parkinsonian drug. It is believed that Symmetrel works by increasing the amount of dopamine available in the brain.
How do I take it?
Symmetrel is taken orally as a capsule or liquid once or twice a day. Take Symmetrel with food or milk. The best times to take Symmetrel are usually in the morning and at mid-day in order to avoid disrupting sleep.
Avoid alcohol while taking Symmetrel.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Symmetrel.
A 2003 article reviewed the evidence from six clinical trials of amantadine (Symmetrel) as treatment for Parkinsonism. The trials involved a total of 215 participants. Researchers concluded that there is insufficient data supporting the efficacy and safety of amantadine as a Parkinson’s medication.
Rare but serious side effects of Symmetrel have included suicidal thoughts and congestive heart failure.
Common side effects of Symmetrel 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 while taking Symmetrel.
Many medications can cause serious allergic reactions. 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, or throat.