What is rimantadine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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. The FDA approved rimantadine in September 1993.

What brand names are available for rimantadine?


Is rimantadine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for rimantadine?


What are the side effects of rimantadine?

The most common side effects of rimantadine are:

Other side effects associated with rimantadine are:

What is the dosage for rimantadine?

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.

Which drugs or supplements interact with rimantadine?

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.


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Is rimantadine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

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.

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

What else should I know about rimantadine?

What preparations of rimantadine are available?

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

How should I keep rimantadine stored?

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


rimantadine (Flumadine) is a medication prescribed for the treatment and prevention of influenza A in adults, and for the prevention of the influenza A virus in children older than one year of age. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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See more info: rimantadine on RxList
Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information