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Dr. Okun

Post of the Week: Ho Amantadine Went from a flu drug to a Parkinson's drug

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Dear forum members,


UF Med student Grant Hubsher recently published an article describing how a single observation in a patient with Parkinson's disease taking amantadine for flu, led to the use of amantadine in Parkinson's disease. His paper appears in this month's edition of Neurology. This is a really interesting story. The abstract is below:


Neurology. 2012 Apr 3;78(14):1096-9.

Amantadine: The journey from fighting flu to treating Parkinson disease.


Hubsher G, Haider M, Okun MS.



Correspondence & reprint requests to Dr. Okun: okun@neurology.ufl.edu.






To explore how amantadine transitioned from an anti-flu drug to antiparkinsonian agent.




A review of the historical literature on the use of amantadine from 1966 to the present was performed.




Amantadine was originally introduced and utilized as an antiviral medication. A single patient noticed relief in her Parkinsondisease (PD) symptoms after taking amantadine for a flu infection, and this observation sparked an interest, and several important studies that eventually led to a new drug indication.




Amantadine has over the years fallen out of favor as a drug to address influenza infection; however, it has become part of the arsenal utilized for early symptomatic treatment of PD, as well an option for treating dyskinesia.






[PubMed - in process]


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