Rimantadine is used to prevent or treat a certain type of flu virus (influenza A). If you have been infected with the flu, this medication may help make your symptoms less severe and shorten the time it will take you to get better. Taking rimantadine if you have been or will be exposed to the flu may help to prevent you from getting the flu. This medication is an antiviral that is believed to work by stopping the growth of the flu virus. This medication is not a vaccine. To increase the chance that you will not get the flu, it is important to get a flu shot once a year at the beginning of every flu season, if possible.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that rimantadine should not be used for the treatment or prevention of influenza A because the current influenza A virus in the United States is resistant to this medication. For more details, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. When this medication is taken to prevent flu, children younger than 10 should usually take it once a day, and children older than 10 and adults should take it twice a day. When used to treat flu in adults, the medication is taken twice a day. Do not increase your dose or take rimantadine more often than prescribed.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, the dosage is also based on body weight.
Begin taking rimantadine as soon as possible after being exposed to the flu or developing flu symptoms. Take this medication for the full time prescribed. Stopping this medication too soon may allow the virus to continue to grow, which can lead to severe flu infection.
If you are taking the syrup, measure the dose carefully with a medication spoon/cup.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, or nervousness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., depression), seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking rimantadine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to amantadine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, seizures.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at a greater risk for dizziness, headache, or weakness while using this drug.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. However, similar drugs pass into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
This drug should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.
If you are currently using this medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting rimantadine.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations), irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, change in amount of urine, unconscious, fever, or seizures.
Do not share this product with others.
This medication works best at reducing the length and severity of the flu when taken within 24 to 48 hours of the first appearance of flu symptoms.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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