The 10+ Benefits of Amantadine

From Anti-Viral to Anti-Parkinsonian

Amantadine is an interesting drug capable of treating traumatic brain injuries, improving Parkinson's disease and more. Check out the benefits below.

 
 

Basics

It is a FDA approved drug as an antiviral and anti-parkinsonian. R

It is commonly found over the counter in many cold medicines in China. R

Benefits

1. Helps with Traumatic Brain Injuries

 
 

Amantadine can help recovery of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), especially if used by 6 weeks after the injury. R R

It can enhance arousal and cognition after TBI (day to months after injury). R R R R

Amantadine can also improve irritability symptoms after TBI. R R

Bonding amantadine with Gardenamide A (GA), enhances its neuroprotective effect against corticosterone and protect the brain during stressful periods and other problems like depression. R

It does this by reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS). R

Amantadine is even well tolerated in children with TBI. R

2. Improves Parkinson's Disease

 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28229895

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28229895

 

In Parkinson's Disease (PD), there is loss of dopamine from degeneration of dopamine neurons and an increase in ROS. R

Amantadine is able to improve dopamine release while blocking dopamine reuptake. R

It antagonizes NMDA receptors. R

In combination with spirulina, amantadine was able to improve PD and reduce ROS in rats. R

In a case report with a parkinson's patient with corticobasal syndrome, amantadine was able to help with alien limb syndrome. R

Extended release amantadine also works well, especially when combined with Levodopa (L-Dopa). R

Taking it intranasally has an extremely rapid and effective onset. R

Amantadine is also able to stop pathological gambling in PD patients. R

3. Helps with Multiple Sclerosis

In multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue can be overwhelming. R

Amantadine is able to help relieve fatigue associated with MS.  R R

4. Has Anti-Viral Properties

 
 

Amantadine is effective against dengue fever. R

It also reduces mania in Borna disease virus-Iinfected non-psychotic bipolar patients. R

5. Has Anti-Depressive Effects

In rats, amantadine is able tolessen depression-like behavior induced by TBI (by preserving dopamine levels in the brain). R

In rats with chronic stress, amantadine was able to attenuate cognitive impairment.

It also increased long term potentiation (enhancing NR2B and PSD-95). R

6. Can Help With Anti-Depressant Side Effects

A normal effect of SSRI's is erectile dysfunction and difficulty achieving orgasm. R

Amantadine can help with SSRI-induced erectile dysfunction, and orgasm in both men and women. R

This effect can also be enhanced with bupropion. R

7. Prevents Weight Gain

 
 

In patients taking olanzapine, an anti-psychotic, amantadine was able to prevent the common side effect of weight gain. R

8. Helps With Aggressive Behavior

In children with ADHD, intermittent explosive disorder,  oppositional defiant disorder, and bipolar disorder, amantadine was able to help reduce aggressive symptoms after 2 weeks of use. R

In rats, amantadine can ameliorate symptoms related to ADHD. R

9. Improves Catatonia

Catatonia is a common neuropsychiatric syndrome with the inability to move normally. R

It can also be seen in autism spectrum disorder children. R

Amantadine treatment may help catatonia patients by balancing certain neurotransmitters (gaba, glutamate and dopamine). R R

10. Improves Periodic Alternating Nystagmus

Nystagmus is a condition of involuntary eye movement. R

Amantadine was able to resolve periodic alternating nystagmus. R

Downsides

1. No Longer Treats Influenza

 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233918/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233918/

 

Amantadine used to be very useful for H3N2 and other flus. R

Unfortunately, these flus have shown recently to have resistance to adamantenes. R

Neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir are usually used instead in replacement. R

Also dryocrassin can be used against H5N1. R

Amantadine is still useful for certain flus in Egypt. R

2. Can Worsen Alzheimer's Disease

 
 

Amantadine is anticholinergic and can induce cognitive function problems. R R

3. Can Induce Livdeo Reticularis

Livedo reticularis (LR) is a spastic-anatomical condition of the small vessels which translates morphologically by a reticular pattern, interspersing cyanosis, pallor and erythema. R

Although rare, a case report showed that a parkinson's patient developed LR after continued use of amantadine. R

4. Can Be A Pro-Oxidative

Many patients are required to take amantadine with anti-oxidants, because of its affect on increasing oxidative stress. R

5. Other Side Effects

Other side effects are:

  • Agitation R
  • Anxiety R
  • Constipation R
  • Corneal edema R
  • Difficulty concentrating R
  • Dry Mouth R
  • Hallucinations R
  • Insomnia R
  • Nervousness R
  • Peripheral neuropathy R
  • Psychosis R

It can also exacerbate pre-existing seizure disorders and psychiatric symptoms in patients with schizophrenia or Parkinson's disease. R

It can also cause severe skin rashes, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and suicidal thoughts. R

Amantadine may induce serotonin syndrome in patients with renal failure. R

Alternatives To Amantadine

 
 

Mechanism Of Action

Neurogenic:

  • Amantadine may promote dopaminergic activity by facilitating presynaptic release and blocking reuptake postsynaptically. R
  • Essentially it enhanced neurotransmission in the dopamine-dependent nigrostriatal, mesolimbic, and frontostriatal circuits that are responsible for mediating arousal, drive, and attentional function. R
  • Increases in prefrontal cortical metabolism and a nonsignificant increase in striatal D2 dopamine–receptor availability. R

Amantadine:

  • Blocks dopamine reuptake R
  • Blocks m2 channel R
  • Blocks noradrenaline uptake R
  • Blocks serotonin uptake in forebrain R
  • Doesn’t affect MAO R
  • Is a NMDA antagonist R
  • Is anticholinergic (specifically nicotinic alpha7) R
  • Increases Dopamine release R
  • Increases blood pressure (it can also antagonize vagus nerve stimulation-induced blood pressure decrease) R R
  • Increases BDNF (in cerebral cortex) R
  • Increases GDNF (in astroglia) R
  • Reduces activation of microglia R

More Research

  • Amantadine does not help with post-operative pain. R
  • Using microneedles for transdermal administration of amantadine may be more beneficial for PD. R
  • Bromocriptine is more effective than amantadine in cocaine detoxification. R
  • Amantadine may help with opiate withdrawal symptoms when combined with Clonidine. R