Symmetrel (Amantadine) capsules are used: • to treat Parkinson’s disease by improving muscle control and reducing stiffness, shakiness and shuffling • in the treatment of shingles (herpes zoster), to reduce pain.
Why have I been prescribed Symmetrel?
Symmetrel (Amantadine) capsules are used:
- to treat Parkinson’s disease by improving muscle control and reducing stiffness, shakiness and shuffling
- in the treatment of shingles (herpes zoster), to reduce pain.
How does it work?
- Symmetrel is what’s called a dopaminergic drug which means it can increase the levels of certain chemicals which transmit impulses in the nervous system, including the brain.
- In Parkinson’s, patients have decreased levels of dopamine in the brain. Symmetrel helps rectify this.
When and how do I take it?
Symmetrel capsules should be taken with a glass of water.
What’s the dose?
- 1 capsule (100 mg) a day for the first week.
- Your doctor will increase this to 2 capsules a day (200 mg).
- Higher doses, up to 4 capsules (400 mg) a day may be given in some cases.
Adults over 65 years:
- 1 capsule (100 mg) once a day.
Shingles (herpes zoster)
- The dose is 2 capsules (200 mg) a day for 14 days.
- If your pain continues your doctor may give you another 14 days treatment.
- If you have kidney problems, your doctor may give you a lower dose.
Could it interact with other tablets?
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any of the following medicines as they may interfere with Symmetrel capsules:
- anti-cholinergics - (used to treat Parkinson’s disease) such as procyclidine
- anti-spasmodics - (used to treat stomach spasms or cramps) such as hyoscine
- levodopa - used to treat Parkinson’s disease
- anti-psychotics - (used to improve thoughts, feelings and behaviour when these are disturbed in certain medical conditions) such as chlorpromazine, haloperidol
- diuretics (water tablets) - (used to relieve water retention and reduce high blood pressure) such as hydrochlorothiazide, amiloride or triamterene.
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription or herbal preparations.
What are the possible risks or side-effects?
Like all medicines, Symmetrel capsules can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. These effects are often mild and may wear off after a few days treatment. If they are severe or last more than a few days, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
If any of the following symptoms occur you should tell your doctor or contact the nearest hospital straight away:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- convulsions (fits).
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you think you have any of these or other problems with Symmetrel capsules:
Very common side effects (that affect more than 1 person in 10):
- swollen ankles
- red blotchy spots on the skin.
Common side effects (that affect less than 1 person in 10):
- feeling overexcited
- feeling tired
- difficulty in controlling movements
- slurred speech
- blurred vision
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling nervous
- difficulty sleeping
- muscle pain
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- low blood pressure when standing up. This may make you feel dizzy or faint
- dry mouth
- loss of appetite
- feeling or being sick
Can I drink alcohol while taking it?
- Be careful when drinking alcohol whilst taking Symmetrel capsules, it may affect you more than usual.
- Always ask your pharmacist/doctor however as other tablets you are taking may have a bearing on whether you can drink alcohol or not.
What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?
- Do not take Symmetrel capsules if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
- Do not take Symmetrel capsules if you are breast-feeding because Symmetrel passes into breast milk and could harm your baby.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.