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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amantadine (Symmetrel)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to amantadine, or if you have received a nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) within the past 14 days.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take amantadine:
You may have increased sexual urges, unusual urges to gamble, or other intense urges while taking amantadine. It is not known whether the medicine actually causes this effect. Talk with your doctor if you believe you have any intense or unusual urges while taking amantadine.
Some people taking medicines for Parkinson's disease have developed skin cancer (melanoma). However, people with Parkinson's disease may have a higher risk than most people for developing melanoma. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk and what skin symptoms to watch for. You may need to have regular skin exams.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking amantadine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Amantadine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take amantadine (Symmetrel)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Measure the liquid form of amantadine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
If you are taking amantadine to treat influenza A, start taking the medication within 24 to 48 hours after flu symptoms begin. Keep taking the medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.
If you are taking amantadine to treat Parkinson symptoms, do not stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking amantadine suddenly, your condition may become worse.
Store amantadine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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