Compare Relenza vs. rimantadine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


Relenza (zanamivir)

Prescription only

Flumadine (rimantadine)

Prescription only
Prevents and reduces the symptoms of the flu.

Relenza (zanamivir) can reduce flu symptoms for people 7 years & older, but they should take it within two days of the flu starting or it won't work.

Treats and prevents type A influenza.

Flumadine (rimantadine) is effective at preventing or treating certain types of flus, but it is not a substitute for the annual flu shot.

  • Relenza (zanamivir) is a great choice for people you don't like swallowing pills.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Flumadine (rimantadine) comes in two forms, tablet and liquid.
  • Flumadine (rimantadine) is often used to treat Parkinson's disease.
  • Start Relenza (zanamivir) within 2 days of getting the flu or else the medicine won't work.
  • Taking Relenza (zanamivir) won't stop you from being contagious.
  • Relenza (zanamivir) is inhaled so people with breathing problems shouldn't take it.
  • Not recommended for people with kidney problems.
  • Flumadine (rimantadine) must be taken within 2 days of flu symptoms starting in order to be effective.
  • Flumadine (rimantadine) is not recommended as the first option to treat influenza as many virus strains are resistant to it.
Used for
  • Flu prevention
  • Flu treatment
  • Flu virus type A
  • Flu virus type A prevention
Dosage forms
  • Inhaler
  • Pill
  • Suspension
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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Sinus infection
  • Headaches
  • Nasal symptoms
  • Bronchitis
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Dizziness
See more detailed side effects
3possible side effects
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Impaired concentration
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Nasal flu vaccine won't work
    • Had nasal flu vaccine within last two weeks
  • Unusual behavior
  • Breathing problems
    • Asthma
    • COPD
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Relenza (zanamivir)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Reaction with vaccines
  • Seizures
    • History of epilepsy
    • Use of amantadine
  • Liver and kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Kidney problems
  • Drug resistance
    • People at high risk for type A flu
See more detailed risks and warnings