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Is Amantadine for ADHD Treatment Effective? Here’s What Research Says

Are you an adult with ADHD looking for alternative treatment options? … In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of using Amantadine for ADHD treatment, covering how it works, potential side effects, research studies, pros and cons, usage guidelines, and alternative treatment options.

Discover if Amantadine could be the right choice for managing your ADHD symptoms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Amantadine is a medication commonly used to treat ADHD in adults.
  • Research suggests that Amantadine may be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms, but it may also cause side effects such as dizziness and nausea.
  • Before considering Amantadine for ADHD treatment, it is essential to discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks with a healthcare professional and explore other medication options.

What is Amantadine?

Amantadine is a medication that the FDA has approved for various uses, including treating Parkinson’s disease, influenza A virus infections, and off-label use for ADHD.

Amantadine is particularly effective in the management of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor impairments. It helps alleviate symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia, providing relief to individuals living with this condition.

The FDA also recognizes Amantadine’s efficacy in combating certain strains of the influenza A virus, making it a valuable weapon in the fight against seasonal flu outbreaks.

Healthcare providers may prescribe Amantadine off-label to individuals with ADHD, a common neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults.

How Does Amantadine Work for ADHD Treatment?

Amantadine exerts its effects in ADHD treatment by modulating NMDA receptors and influencing the glutamatergic system, which plays a role in neurotransmitter regulation.

By targeting NMDA receptors, Amantadine enhances the activity of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter essential for cognitive functions. This modulation of the glutamatergic system influences the level of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which are crucial for attention and focus in individuals with ADHD.

What are the Side Effects of Amantadine?

Amantadine may cause both common and severe side effects, which can vary in severity and impact on patients.

Common side effects of Amantadine may include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and lightheadedness. These effects are often mild and transient, affecting only a tiny percentage of patients. Some patients may experience more serious adverse reactions, such as hallucinations, confusion, and seizures. It is crucial for individuals taking this medication to be aware of these potential side effects and to consult their healthcare provider if they experience any concerning symptoms.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Amantadine may include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and dry mouth, among others.

Nausea, a frequently reported side effect of Amantadine, can lead to a loss of appetite and general discomfort in the stomach. Patients experiencing dizziness may feel lightheaded or unbalanced, potentially affecting their ability to perform daily activities. Insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, can disrupt the patient’s sleep patterns and impact their overall well-being. Dry mouth, another common side effect, can cause discomfort due to reduced saliva production, leading to issues with swallowing and speaking. It is crucial for individuals taking Amantadine to be aware of these potential side effects and consult their healthcare provider if they persist.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects of Amantadine can include hallucinations, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, or throat, and seizures.

Immediate medical attention is crucial if you experience any of these severe reactions. Hallucinations can be distressing and affect one’s mental well-being. Difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, lips, or throat could indicate a severe allergic reaction that needs immediate intervention. Seizures are a concerning side effect that may require emergency medical care to prevent complications. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional promptly if you encounter any of these symptoms while taking Amantadine.

What Does Research Say About Amantadine’s Effectiveness for ADHD Treatment?

Research studies have explored the effectiveness of Amantadine in treating ADHD, providing insights into its potential benefits and limitations.

One study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology indicated that Amantadine may show promise in managing ADHD symptoms, particularly in improving attention and reducing hyperactivity.

Another research article in the Journal of Attention Disorders concluded that while Amantadine could be beneficial for some individuals with ADHD, more robust clinical trials are necessary to establish its efficacy and safety profile in this population fully.

The varying outcomes across different studies highlight the need for further investigation and understanding of Amantadine’s role in ADHD treatment.

Studies on Amantadine’s Effectiveness in Adults with ADHD

Studies examining the effectiveness of Amantadine in adults with ADHD have shown promising results in symptom improvement and cognitive function enhancement.

One particular study conducted at a major research centre analyzed the impact of Amantadine on a group of adult ADHD patients over 12 weeks. The findings revealed a significant decrease in hyperactivity and impulsivity and a notable improvement in attention span and memory retention. The participants reported fewer side effects compared to other commonly prescribed medications for ADHD.

Comparison of Amantadine to Other ADHD Medications

Comparative analyses between Amantadine and other ADHD medications reveal differences in efficacy, side effect profiles, and treatment outcomes.

One notable advantage of Amantadine is its unique mechanism of action, targeting glutamate and dopamine receptors to enhance neurotransmitter function.

On the other hand, stimulant medications like methylphenidate and amphetamines are widely used for ADHD due to their rapid onset of action and effectiveness in managing symptoms.

These stimulants may have a higher potential for abuse and can cause more significant side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Amantadine for ADHD Treatment?

The use of Amantadine in ADHD treatment offers benefits such as potential symptom improvement, but it also comes with drawbacks like the risk of adverse effects.

While Amantadine can effectively target specific ADHD symptoms, providing relief and enhancing daily functioning, its usage may lead to side effects that can range from mild to severe.

On the positive side, it can benefit individuals who do not respond well to other medications or experience specific symptoms. The potential risks associated with Amantadine, including nausea, dizziness, and insomnia, should be carefully considered before starting treatment.

Its effectiveness varies among patients, so it is essential to monitor and adjust the dosage to achieve optimal outcomes.


The pros of using Amantadine for ADHD treatment include its potential efficacy, alternative mechanism of action, and reduced risk of abuse compared to stimulant medications.

Amantadine’s unique mechanism of action targets glutamate receptors in the brain, offering a novel approach to managing ADHD symptoms. This can be advantageous for individuals who do not respond well to traditional stimulant medications.

Amantadine has shown promising results in improving cognitive function and executive functioning in individuals with ADHD, which can positively impact daily functioning and quality of life. Its lower potential for abuse and dependence makes it a safer option for long-term treatment, especially for individuals at risk of substance misuse.


The cons of using Amantadine for ADHD treatment may involve side effects, limited research data, and variability in individual response to the medication.

While Amantadine can be effective for some individuals with ADHD, it is essential to consider the potential downsides associated with its use. Side effects such as insomnia, dizziness, and gastrointestinal disturbances can be expected and may impact the overall quality of life for those taking the medication.

There is a lack of extensive research on the long-term effects of Amantadine for ADHD treatment, making it challenging to understand its efficacy and safety over time fully. This limitation highlights the need for more comprehensive studies to address gaps in knowledge surrounding this medication.

Who Should Consider Using Amantadine for ADHD Treatment?

Individuals who may benefit from considering Amantadine for ADHD treatment include patients who have not responded well to other medications, both children and adults.

These patients, often referred to as non-responders, can find relief with Amantadine, which operates through dopamine release and modulation. The drug’s efficacy in managing ADHD symptoms has been particularly promising in cases where other treatments have not yielded satisfactory results.

  • Children who exhibit resistance to conventional stimulant medications may find Amantadine to be a viable alternative, offering a new avenue for symptom control and improved quality of life.
  • Similarly, adults who have experienced limited success with other ADHD medications could benefit from exploring Amantadine as a potential solution, providing them with an alternative treatment approach.

How Should Amantadine Be Used for ADHD Treatment?

The administration of Amantadine for ADHD treatment involves following prescribed dosages, considering individual patient needs, and monitoring for therapeutic responses.

Amantadine is typically initiated at a low dose and titrated upwards based on the patient’s weight and tolerance levels. In children, the starting dose is usually around 2-4 mg/kg/day, while in adults, it can range from 100-200 mg per day.

Special considerations should be given to elderlpatientst, who may require lower initial doses due to decreased renal function. Regular monitoring of the patient’s response to the medication, including assessing symptom improvement and any side effects, is essential for optimizing treatoptimizingmes.

Healthcare providers must educate patients and caregivers on the importance of adhering to the prescribed dosage regimen and reporting any symptoms promptly.

What Are the Alternatives to Amantadine for ADHD Treatment?

Along with Amantadine, alternatives for ADHD treatment include stimulant medications like methylphenidate and non-stimulant options such as Strattera and Viloxazine.

Stimulant medications like Adderall and Concerta are commonly prescribed to help manage symptoms of ADHD by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain.

  • Adderall consists of amphetamine salts that can improve focus and attention in individuals with ADHD.
  • Concerta, a long-acting form of methylphenidate, provides sustained symptom relief throughout the day.

Non-stimulant medications like Intuniv and Kapvay offer alternative treatment approaches for those who may not benefit from stimulant therapy, working on different neurotransmitters to help regulate attention and impulse control.

Stimulant Medications

Stimulant medications like Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin are commonly used in ADHD treatment for their effectiveness in managing symptoms in many patients.

These medications work by increasing certain chemicals in the brain that help with focus, attention, and impulse control. While the exact mechanism of action varies, they are generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most individuals. Some may experience side effects like appetite changes, sleep disturbances, or increased heart rate.

It is essential for healthcare providers to closely monitor patients on stimulant medications to adjust the dosage and address any issues that may arise. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to evaluate the medication’s efficacy and make necessary modifications.

Non-Stimulant Medications

Non-stimulant medications like Strattera and Intuniv offer alternative options for ADHD treatment, particularly for patients who may not tolerate stimulant side effects.

These medications target neurotransmitters in the brain, providing a different action mechanism than stimulants.

For individuals with a history of substance abuse, non-stimulant options are often preferred due to their lower risk of misuse.

Patients who experience insomnia or decreased appetite on stimulants may find non-stimulant medications more tolerable.


In conclusion, Amantadine presents a viable option for ADHD treatment, supported by research findings on its efficacy. However, thorough evaluation and consideration of individual patient factors are essential for optimal outcomes.

Research indicates that Amantadine can effectively improve attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in ADHD patients. Its mechanism of action involves the modulation of dopamine levels and contributes to symptom management. To personalise treatment, heapersonalizeviders must carefully assess each patient’s medical history, potential drug interactions, and side effects. Patient-centred care entails close monitoring of treatment response and adjusting Amantadine dosage as needed. Collaboration between healthcare professionals, patients, and families is paramount to achieving long-term success in ADHD management.


For further information and details on the sources referenced in this article about Amantadine for ADHD treatment, please refer to the list of references provided below.

Research studies such as the one conducted by Spencer et al. in 2016 and the comprehensive review by Zepf et al. in 2017 have delved into the effectiveness of Amantadine in managing ADHD symptoms. The clinical trials cited from the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and the American Journal of Psychiatry offer valuable insights into the use of Amantadine as a potential treatment for ADHD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Amantadine an effective treatment for ADHD?

According to research, amantadine is effective in treating ADHD in adults.

What are the possible benefits of using amantadine for ADHD treatment?

Some potential benefits of using amantadine for ADHD treatment include improved attention, reduced hyperactivity, and better executive functioning.

What makes amantadine different from other ADHD medications?

Unlike other commonly used ADHD medications, amantadine works on the dopamine system and not the norepinephrine system.

How does amantadine compare to stimulant medications for ADHD?

Studies have shown that amantadine may be just as effective as stimulant medications for treating ADHD in adults, with fewer side effects.

Can amantadine be used as a standalone treatment for ADHD?

While amantadine is effective in treating ADHD, it is often used as an adjunct therapy along with other medications or treatment for optimal results.

Are there any potential downsides to using amantadine for ADHD treatment?

Some potential downsides to using amantadine for ADHD treatment include possible side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and insomnia, as well as the need for regular monitoring for potential drug interactions.

Rob Reed

I am a content creator and author with AUDHD (specifically Inattentive-type ADHD and ASD). I was diagnosed at 36 as an adult. Being diagnosed as an adult and not as a child, means that my experience of life has been impacted by Mental Health issues. I hope to use this website to share information that supports others on their personal journey with neurodiversity.