(Brand names in India: Amantrel, Parkitidin)

How does Amantadine act?

Amantadine is a another friend of levodopa (remember: its other friend is entacapone).

While it can decrease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it works best when it is given to support the action of levodopa.

While Entacapone can sometimes increase the side-effects of levodopa, Amantadine is the friend who smoothens out your rough edges, makes you a better person. Amantadine decreases some side-effects of levodopa and makes it more wonderful.

people 3104635 1920
Levodopa’s two friends: Entacapone & Amantadine.

No one quite understands how Amantadine works for Parkinson’s disease. It was originally designed to kill the influenza virus. However, doctors accidentally discovered that it makes Parkinson’s disease better as well.

It has one, fantastic and unique effect in Parkinson’s disease that is described below.


    1. Treatment of “Dyskinesias”: Some patients with Parkinson’s disease start getting bothersome movements of the hands, legs and neck after a few years of treatment. I want you to understand these movements. So with all respect: please allow me to describe these movements in the simplest way possible. These movements are dance-like movements, somewhat similar to the way Michael Jackson dances on stage. The Latin word for dance is chorea, and therefore these movements are called chorei-form (dance-like) movements. Since that word is very complicated, they are also called “Dyskinesias”. These movements are often time-linked to levodopa. They are maximum in intensity 30 min – 1 hour after taking levodopa.
      Dyskinesias are dance-like movements.

      Amantadine has one fantastic effect – it decreases these movements tremendously. For patients who have not been able to take enough levodopa because of these movements, it enables intake of an adequate quantity of levodopa, so that they can have a much better quality of life.

    2. It may smoothen-out the effect of levodopa, and can help in relieving “Predictable wearing OFF” to some degree. But, other stratergies such as entacapone, long-acting medications etc are much more useful for this purpose.
    3. Rarely, it can be given as the only medication for Parkinson’s disease. But when used by itself, its effectiveness is limited.


  1. Most people don’t have any side-effects from Amantadine. Some people can have mild swelling or slight purplish discolouration of the feet.
  2. Since it is an anti-viral, it can decrease the effectiveness of some viral vaccines. If a live viral vaccine (e.g. Hepatitis B vaccine) needs to be given, Amantaide should be stopped 2 weeks prior and 2 days after the vaccine is administered.
    Amantadine can decrease the effectiveness of some vaccines.


It is used to control troublesome dance-like movements caused by high doses of levodopa. Although it is only modestly effective by itself, it is extremely good at smoothing out the rough edges of our superstar (levodopa), hence the sorbiquet – The lawyer of levodopa.


Caution: This information is not a substitute for professional care. Do not change your medications/treatment without your doctor's permission.
Dr. Siddharth Kharkar

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar has been recognized as one of the best neurologists in Mumbai by Outlook India magazine and India today Magazine. He is a board certified (American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology certified) Neurologist.

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar is a Epilepsy specialist in Mumbai & Parkinson's specialist in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

He has trained in the best institutions in India, US and UK including KEM hospital in Mumbai, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), USA & Kings College in London.

Call 022-4897-1800

Send Message

3 thoughts on “Amantadine”

  1. this is a very interesting dispatch, acknowledgement you for the benefit of the information. Contrite my english is not the sheer best. do you be versed if it is tenable to despatch this to the spanish language. that would be quite helpfull.

  2. My husband Colonel Suresh Babu, is a retired army officer aged 78 yrs. 3yrs ago he was fit and was a regular with Yoga. Today he is suffering from PSP, and it is sad to see his condition deteriorate so drastically that today he can’t take a step without falling. How can you help us out Doctor?

    • Hello Ms. Pushpa,
      Yes, I agree that PSP can be a difficult disease to bear. Balance training can help with balance, and mechanical walking aids such as a walker can also be helpful. One problem with using a walker is that patients with PSP tend to fall backwards, rather than forwards. This can make using a walker difficult. As listed in another article, I hope he is being adequately treated for PSP with levodopa, amantadine and possibly some of the other medications listed here:
      I wish you the best,
      Dr. Siddharth Kharkar


Leave a comment