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SYMMETREL (AMANTADINE HCL) TABLETS AND SYRUP: PHARMACODYNAMICS

Mechanism of Action: Antiviral

The mechanism by which amantadine exerts its antiviral activity is not clearly understood. It appears to mainly prevent the release of infectious viral nucleic acid into the host cell by interfering with the function of the transmembrane domain of the viral M2 protein. In certain cases, amantadine is also known to prevent virus assembly during virus replication. It does not appear to interfere with the immunogenicity of inactivated influenza A virus vaccine.

Antiviral Activity

Symmetrel (Amantadine) inhibits the replication of influenza A virus isolates from each of the subtypes, i.e., H1N1, H2N2 and H3N2. It has very little or no activity against influenza B virus isolates. A quantitative relationship between the in vitro susceptibility of influenza A virus to amantadine and the clinical response to therapy has not been established in man. Sensitivity test results, expressed as the concentration of amantadine required to inhibit by 50% the growth of virus (ED50) in tissue culture vary greatly (from 0.1 ėg/mL to 25.0 ėg/mL) depending upon the assay protocol used, size of virus inoculum, isolates of influenza A virus strains tested, and the cell type used. Host cells in tissue culture readily tolerated amantadine up to a concentration of 100 ėg/mL.

Drug Resistance

Influenza A variants with reduced in vitro sensitivity to amantadine have been isolated from epidemic strains in areas where adamantane derivatives are being used. Influenza viruses with reduced in vitro sensitivity have been shown to be transmissible and to cause typical influenza illness. The quantitative relationship between the in vitro sensitivity of influenza A variants to amantadine and the clinical response to therapy has not been established.

Mechanism of Action: Parkinson's Disease

The mechanism of action of amantadine in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions is not known. Data from earlier animal studies suggest that Symmetrel may have direct and indirect effects on dopamine neurons. More recent studies have demonstrated that amantadine is a weak, non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist (Ki = 10ėM). Although amantadine has not been shown to possess direct anticholinergic activity in animal studies, clinically, it exhibits anticholinergic-like side effects such as dry mouth, urinary retention, and constipation.

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