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. To prevent a viral infection, the drug should be started before exposure to the virus. Clearly, this is not practical for most viral infections. Rimantadine initially was used to prevent influenza A during flu season, and, if given within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of flu symptoms, to decrease the severity of the flu. Rimantadine is chemically related to amantadine (Symmetrel), but rimantadine has fewer side effects on the nervous system than amantadine. Rimantadine was approved for use in 1993.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: no
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 100mg oval (peach-colored). Syrup: 50mg per teaspoonful.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 15 and 30°C (59 and 86°F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Rimantadine is used for the prevention or treatment of infections with influenza A virus, especially for individuals at high-risk such as immunosuppressed patients and nursing home residents. It should not be used as a substitute for vaccination.
DOSING: Rimantadine is taken once or twice daily with or without food. If it causes an upset stomach, it can be taken with food. If used for treatment of an established infection, rimantadine should be started as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours after the onset of the symptoms of infection with influenza A . It should be continued for 5 to 7 days or for 24 to 48 hours after the disappearance of symptoms.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: There are no known, clinically important drug interactions with rimantadine.
PREGNANCY: No well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women to evaluate rimantadine's safety. Physicians may choose to use rimantadine during pregnancy when the benefits are felt to outweigh the potential but unknown risks to the fetus.
NURSING MOTHERS: The safety of rimantadine in nursing mothers has not been investigated.
SIDE EFFECTS: The risk of side effects with rimantadine is less than 3% or 1 in 30 patients who are treated. The most common side effects are nausea (1 in 35), vomiting (1 in 60), sleep disturbances (1 in 50), dizziness (1 in 50), loss of appetite (1 in 60), and dry mouth (1 in 60).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 1/25/1999 7:47:00 PM
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