What type of medication is amantadine?

  1. Amantadine is a non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonistand was originally used as an antiviral treatment for influenza.  However, it was fortuitously noted to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. 
  2. It is a dopaminergic medication believed to enhance dopamine levels through both presynaptic and postsynaptic effects 44
  3. During the early stages of recovery from a brain injury, when intracranial pressure is increased, amantadine should be used with caution 3.


What evidence is there that Amantadine is effective in treating behavioral issues post ABI?

1.    The benefit of Amantadine in treating behavioural issues remains unclear.

  • In a pediatric study the amantadine group did experience some improvements including increased alertness, initiation, and verbalization and decreased agitation45.
  • Results from another study, where subjects were randomly assigned to receive either amantadine or placebo, a statistical comparison of the results evaluating the five subsets of attention, executive/flexibility, memory, behavior and orientation did not demonstrate any significant effect for the use of amantadine46.


For a more detailed discussion on these studies please see ERABI/Mental Health Issue Post ABI.