rimantadine, Flumadine

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GENERIC NAME: rimantadine

BRAND NAME: Flumadine

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Rimantadine is a synthetic (man-made) anti-viral drug that can prevent viruses in cells from multiplying. Rimantadine is chemically related to amantadine (Symmetrel), but rimantadine has fewer side effects on the nervous system than amantadine. It is useful in treating and preventing influenza A virus in adults and in preventing influenza A virus in children. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that rimantadine should not to be used to replace the annual influenza vaccination. Prolonged and frequent use of rimantadine can cause it to be less effective in its activity against the influenza A virus. Rimantadine is most effective when given within 48 hours of the start of symptoms associated with the influenza A.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 100 mg. Syrup: 50 mg per teaspoonful.

STORAGE: Tablets and syrup should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Rimantadine is used for the prevention and treatment of influenza A virus infection in adults and for the prevention of influenza A virus illness in children older than 1 year of age.

DOSING: The dose of rimantadine in adults for both prevention and treatment of the influenza virus infection is one, 100 mg tablet taken twice daily with or without food. If it causes an upset stomach, it can be taken with food. The usual dose of rimantadine for prevention of the influenza virus in children is 5 mg/kg daily given in two divided doses. If used for treatment of an established infection, rimantadine should be started as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. It should be continued for 5 to 7 days from when symptoms began and stopped soon after symptoms disappear.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Rimantadine may reduce the effectiveness of influenza virus vaccine. It is recommended that rimantadine not be given 48 hours prior to and 14 days after administering the influenza virus vaccine. Rimantadine may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane), and cause the blood pressure to drop suddenly.

PREGNANCY: There are no well-controlled studies of rimantadine in pregnant women and, therefore, rimantadine is not recommended during pregnancy. Other drugs including oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are recommended for the prevention and treatment of influenza A virus illness in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not recommended that mothers who are breastfeeding use rimantadine due to possible risks of adverse effects in infants.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of rimantadine are nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbances, lack of concentration, dizziness and loss of appetite.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/21/2014



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