Compare rimantadine vs. Symmetrel

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

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Flumadine (rimantadine)

Prescription only

Symmetrel (amantadine)

Prescription only
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.

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
  • Available as a generic.
  • Flumadine (rimantadine) comes in two forms, tablet and liquid.
  • Flumadine (rimantadine) is often used to treat Parkinson's disease.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Pill
  • Suspension
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Impaired concentration
    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
  • 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
  • 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