Generic Name: Rimantadine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Rimantadine used for?

Rimantadineis 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.

How should I take Rimantadine?

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.

How do I store Rimantadine?

Rimantadine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Rimantadine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Rimantadine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Rimantadine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Rimantadine?

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 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.

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.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Rimantadine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Rimantadine. Rimantadine is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Rimantadine?

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.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Rimantadine?

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.

Rimantadine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Rimantadine?

Rimantadine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Rimantadine?

Rimantadine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Rimantadine.

What is the dose of Rimantadine for an adult?

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.

Renal Dose Adjustments

Severe renal dysfunction (CrCl 5 to 29 mL/min) or renal failure (CrCl 10 mL/min or less): A dose reduction to 100 mg orally once a day is normally recommended.

Liver Dose Adjustments

Severe liver dysfunction: A dose reduction to 100 mg orally once a day is normally recommended.

Dose Adjustments

Some clinicians recommend 200 mg orally once a day for treatment or prevention of seasonal influenza A virus infection in adults.

Dialysis

Severe renal dysfunction (CrCl 5 to 29 mL/min) or renal failure (CrCl 10 mL/min or less): A dose reduction to 100 mg orally once a day is normally recommended.

Comments:

-Rimantadine is not removed by hemodialysis.

Other Comments

On the basis of available antiviral testing results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that rimantadine not be used for treatment or prophylaxis of currently circulating influenza A virus strains; oseltamivir or zanamivir recommended if antiviral medication needed.

Administration advice:

-Therapy should begin within 48 hours of onset of signs/symptoms of influenza A infection; efficacy of rimantadine started after 48 hours not known. Therapy should be continued for about 7 days from initial onset of symptoms.

-Prophylaxis is generally started when an outbreak of influenza A is documented and continued until it is over, if necessary, or until an immune response is provided by immunization (2 to 4 weeks after vaccination).

-Compounded rimantadine oral suspension preferred for patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets.

Reconstitution/preparation techniques:

-During emergency situations only: For patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets or where lower doses are needed, an oral suspension (10 mg/mL) may be prepared from rimantadine 100 mg tablets using Ora-Sweet(R); the manufacturer’s product information should be consulted for compounding procedures.

General:

-Annual vaccination is preferred method for prophylaxis against influenza A; rimantadine should not be considered a substitute.

-To minimize the entrapment of air, the compounded oral suspension should be shaken gently before each use.

-Any remaining suspension must be discarded after completion of therapy or after the labeled expiration date. The compounded oral suspension is stable for 14 days at room temperature; therefore, the maximum amount to be dispensed should not exceed a 14 day supply.

Monitoring:

-General: For side effects in patients with liver or renal dysfunction

What is the dose of Rimantadine for a child?

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

How is Rimantadine available?

Rimantadine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet,
  • Oral syrup.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Rimantadine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

 

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 25, 2018 | Last Modified: April 25, 2018

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