Symmetrel is used to treat Parkinson's disease and is also used to prevent and treat certain viral infections.
Symmetrel is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease, symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease, as well as used to treat drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions. It also is used to prevent and treat certain viral infections. Symmetrel belongs to a class of drugs called antiviral agents, which stop the ability of the virus from spreading. It is not known how it works to treat Parkinson’s disease and similar conditions.
This medication comes in tablet, capsule, and syrup forms and is taken once or twice a day, with or without food.
Common side effects of Symmetrel include nausea, lightheadedness, and insomnia. Symmetrel can also cause blurry vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Symmetrel affects you.
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Uses of Symmetrel
Symmetrel is a prescription medication used to treat Parkinson's disease and symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Symmetrel is used to treat drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions. It also is used to prevent and treat certain viral infections caused by a type of virus (influenza virus A).
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Symmetrel Drug Class
Symmetrel is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Symmetrel
Serious side effects have been reported with Symmetrel. See the “Symmetrel Precautions” section
Common side effects of Symmetrel include the following:
- anxiety and irritability
- dry mouth
- loss of muscle coordination/control
- a netlike pattern of reddish-blue skin discoloration, usually on the legs
- swelling of arms, legs, or feet
- dizziness upon rising from a sitting position
- abnormal dreams
- dry nose
This is not a complete list of Symmetrel side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- triamterene/hydrochlorothiazide (Dyazide)
- quinine or quinidine
- central nervous system stimulants such amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall), methylphenidate (Concerta, Methylin, Ritalin, Metadate), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).
- anticholinergics such as glycopyrrolate (Cuvposa, Robinul), trospium (Sanctura), oxybutynin (Anturol, Gelnique, Oxytrol, Ditropan), solifenacin (Vesicare), dicyclomine (Bentyl), propantheline (Pro-Banthine), and atropine (Atropen, Sal-Tropine)
- phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), fluphenazine (Prolixin), perphenazine (Triavil), prochlorperazine (Compazine), and trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
This is not a complete list of Symmetrel drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Symmetrel including the following:
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of NMS.
- loss of muscle control
- change in mental status
- increased heart or breathing rate
- Melanoma. Patients with Parkinson's disease have a higher risk of developing this serious form of skin cancer and should be monitored routinely by a dermatologist.
- Impulse Control/Compulsive Behaviors. Patients treated with Symmetrel can experience intense urges (sexual, gambling, spending money uncontrollably).
Symmetrel can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Symmetrel affects you.
Do not take Symmetrel if you are allergic to Symmetrel or to any of its ingredients.
Symmetrel Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Symmetrel, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Symmetrel, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to Symmetrel or to any of its ingredients
- have epilepsy or a history of seizures
- have liver problems
- have kidney problems especially in patients older than 65 years
- have heart problems such as congestive heart failure
- have swelling of arms, legs, or feet
- have untreated vision problems such as angle closure glaucoma
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Symmetrel and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Symmetrel falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Symmetrel and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Symmetrel has been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants, the use of Symmetrel is not recommended.Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Symmetrel.
Take Symmetrel exactly as prescribed.
This medication comes in tablet, capsule, and syrup forms and is taken once or twice a day.
Take with or without food.
Alcohol may intensify some of the side effects (dizziness, light-headedness, confusion) of this medication.
Do not stop this medication abruptly.
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Symmetrel at the same time.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
- your kidney function
- your age
- your weight
Prevention and treatment of uncomplicated influenza A virus
The recommended adult dose of Symmetrel (amantadine) for the prevention and treatment of uncomplicated influenza A virus is 200 mg in a single dose and is given within 24-48 hours after onset of symptoms and continued 24-48 hours after symptoms disappear.
In persons 65 years of age or older, the daily dosage of Symmetrel (amantadine) is 100 mg.
- 1 yr-9 yrs of age: The total daily dose is calculated using 4.4 to 8.8 mg/kg/day and is divided into two doses (Should not exceed 150 mg per day)
- 9 yrs-12 yrs of age: The recommended dose is 100 mg twice a day.
The recommended adult dose of Symmetrel (amantadine) for the treatment of Parkinson's disease or and symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease is 100 mg twice a day when used alone.
The initial dose of Symmetrel (amantadine) is 100 mg daily for patients with serious associated medical illnesses or who are receiving high doses of other antiparkinson drugs. After one to several weeks, the dose may be increased to 100 mg twice daily, if needed.
For those patients who do not respond to these doses can take up to 400 mg/day, but must be supervised by a physician.
Dosage for Drug-Induced Extrapyramidal Reactions:
The usual recommended dose of Symmetrel (amantadine) is 100 mg twice a day. For those patients who do not respond to these doses may benefit from an increase up to 300 mg daily in divided doses.
If you take too much Symmetrel, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store Symmetrel at room temperature in a light resistant container.
- Keep away from heat and sunlight.
- Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.
- Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to Symmetrel.