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Symmetrel is used both as an antiviral and as an anti-Parkinsonic. Symmetrel, commonly known as amantadine, is an antiviral drug which was at first discovered in 1969 by accident to help reduce symptoms of Parkinson's disease and drug-induced extrapyramidal syndromes and later approved in 1979 by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Influenza virus A in adults.

Symmetrel Information

Influenza (or the 'flu) is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus which weakens the immunity system causing a number of different symptoms like muscle aches, extreme tiredness, runny or stuffy nose, and a temperature of more than 37.8 Celsius degrees. Anti-viral medicines like Symmetrel help prevent the spreading of the virus inside the body.

Not everyone can take Symmetrel so let your health care provider know if you have:

- problems with your liver, kidneys or heart
- a history of psychosis or mental illness
- breathing problems
- stomach ulcers
- confusion or hallucinations
- or if you are debilitated

Symmetrel is also an antiparkinsonic so it could be used in monoteraphy or together with L-DOPA to treat L-DOPA-related motor fluctuations and L-DOPA-related dyskinesias. Although the mechanism of its effect is not fully understood, amantadine appears to release dopamine from the nerve endings of the brain cells and is coupled with the stimulation of norepinephrine response.

Recently it has been reported that avian flu in China and Southeast Asia are resistant to Symmetrel, but strains circulating elsewhere are quite sensitive.

The patients must be aware of the adverse reactions that may appear while using Symmetrel which include:

- drinking alcohol while taking the medicine may cause dizziness, fainting or confusion
- if depression or thoughts of suicide appear tell your doctor immediately
- the drug may cause dryness of the nose, month and throat
- and also convulsions, difficulty in coordination, loss of memory, increase in body movements, decrease in sexual desire, anxiety, agitation, congestive heart failure, psychosis, urinary retention

Symmetrel is contraindicated in patients who have hypersensitivity to amantadine hydrochloride or to any of the other ingredients in Symmetrel.

The drug overdose has resulted in respiratory, cardiac, renal, and central nervous system toxicity and there have been situations in which death has been reported from overdosing.

The medicine should be taken exactly as prescribed. The usual daily dosage for an adult is 200 mg (two 100 mg tablets or four teaspoonfuls of syrup) as a single daily dose.

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