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Rimantadine

Generic Name: rimantadine (ri MAN ta deen)
Brand Name: Flumadine

Medically reviewed: December 15, 2017

What is rimantadine?

Rimantadine is an antiviral medication. It blocks the actions of viruses in your body.

Rimantadine is used to treat and prevent influenza A (a viral infection) in adults. It is also used to prevent influenza A in children.

There may be some flu seasons during which rimantadine is not recommended because certain flu strains may be resistant to this drug.

Rimantadine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to rimantadine or a similar medicine called amantadine (Symmetrel).

Before taking rimantadine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have a seizure disorder, kidney disease, or liver disease.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

Do not use FluMist nasal influenza "live vaccine" while you are being treated with rimantadine and for at least 48 hours after you stop taking rimantadine. The nasal vaccine may not be as effective if you receive it while you are taking rimantadine. Before taking rimantadine, tell your doctor if you have received a nasal flu vaccine within the past 14 days.

Avoid coming into close contact with someone who has a weak immune system, such as a person who is taking steroids, being treated for cancer, or has a bone marrow disorder or an illness such as HIV or AIDS. If you have a type of influenza that is resistant to rimantadine, your body may actually shed that virus and a person with a weak immune system could easily become ill from being near you.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to rimantadine or a similar medicine called amantadine (Symmetrel).

Before taking rimantadine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • kidney disease; or

  • liver disease.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether rimantadine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take rimantadine?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

If you are taking rimantadine to treat influenza A, take it within 48 hours of when you notice your first flu symptoms.

Take this medication with a full glass of water.

Measure the liquid form of rimantadine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

Store rimantadine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include agitation, confusion, hallucinations, or uneven heart rate.

What should I avoid while taking rimantadine?

Do not use FluMist nasal influenza "live vaccine" while you are being treated with rimantadine and for at least 48 hours after you stop taking rimantadine. The nasal vaccine may not be as effective if you receive it while you are taking rimantadine. Before taking rimantadine, tell your doctor if you have received a nasal flu vaccine within the past 14 days.

Avoid coming into close contact with someone who has a weak immune system, such as a person who is taking steroids, being treated for cancer, or has a bone marrow disorder or an illness such as HIV or AIDS. If you have a type of influenza that is resistant to rimantadine, your body may actually shed that virus and a person with a weak immune system could easily become ill from being near you.

Rimantadine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using rimantadine and call your doctor at once if you have a seizure (black-out or convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Rimantadine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Influenza A:

Normally recommended dose: 100 mg orally twice a day for 7 days

Usual Adult Dose for Influenza Prophylaxis:

Normally recommended dose: 100 mg orally twice a day

Usual Geriatric Dose for Influenza Prophylaxis:

Elderly nursing home patients and patients over the age of 65 years: A dose reduction to 100 mg orally once a day is normally recommended.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Influenza A:

Elderly nursing home patients and patients over the age of 65 years: A dose reduction to 100 mg orally once a day is normally recommended.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Influenza A:

Normally recommended dose:
17 years or older: 100 mg orally twice a day for 7 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Influenza Prophylaxis:

Normally recommended dose:
1 to 9 years: 5 mg/kg (up to 150 mg) orally once a day
10 years or older: 100 mg orally twice a day

What other drugs will affect rimantadine?

Before taking rimantadine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with rimantadine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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