Uses

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.

How to use Rimantadine HCL

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 lasts or gets worse.

Side Effects

Trouble sleeping, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, or nervousness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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 you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as depression), seizures.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: 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.

Precautions

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. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Older adults may be at a greater risk for dizziness, headache, or weakness while using this drug.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. 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.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

A product that may interact with this drug is: flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

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Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center 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 (such as agitation, hallucinations), irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, change in amount of urine, unconscious, fever, or seizures.

Notes

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.

Missed Dose

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. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.