Compare Relenza vs. Symmetrel

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

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Relenza (zanamivir)

Prescription only

Symmetrel (amantadine)

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 Parkinson's disease, the flu, and side effects from antipsychotic drugs.

Symmetrel (amantadine) is a generic medicine that can be used alone, or with other medicines to treat early Parkinson's disease.

Upsides
  • Relenza (zanamivir) is a great choice for people you don't like swallowing pills.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) can be taken by itself or with other medicines to treat the symptoms of early Parkinson's disease, including muscle spasms, tremors, and difficulty with movements.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) is available in generic and in both a pill and liquid form.
  • Compared to other medicines for Parkinson's disease, the side effects are relatively mild.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) sometimes has to be taken multiple times a day.
  • Symmetrel (amantadine) can’t stop or cure Parkinson's disease. It can only slow down the progression.
  • You can't take certain forms of the flu vaccine if you're taking Symmetrel (amantadine). Talk to your doctor before receiving vaccines.
  • You can't stop taking Symmetrel (amantadine) suddenly without talking to your doctor since your Parkinson's can get worse.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Inhaler
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Nausea
    3%
  • Sinus infection
    3%
  • Headaches
    2%
  • Nasal symptoms
    2%
  • Bronchitis
    2%
  • Cough
    2%
  • Sore throat
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Symmetrel (amantadine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Deaths from overdosage
    • Kidney damage or failure
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • Taking Symmetrel (amantadine) for the flu
  • Higher risk of seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Heart failure
    • Heart failure
    • History of swelling in the arms or legs
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
See more detailed risks and warnings