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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.

Source

 

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

 

Abstract

 

OBJECTIVE:

 

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

 

METHODS:

 

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

 

RESULTS:

 

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.

 

CONCLUSION:

 

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.

 

PMID:

 

22474298

 

[PubMed - in process]

 

LinkOut - more resources

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