Rimantadine represents a better tolerated alternative to amantadine

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IN BRIEFThe antivirals rimantadine and amantadine appear to be important adjuncts to influenza virus vaccine in controlling the spread of influenza.Antiviral agents, in contrast to vaccines, may be used as both prevention and treatment of influenza. However, they are active only against influenza A. Thus, vaccination remains the only means of controlling the spread of influenza B.When used appropriately, rimantadine and amantadine have preventive efficacy of between 50 and 90%, and shorten the duration of influenza A illness by approximately 50%. The drugs appear equally effective in this regard.However, rimantadine is better tolerated than amantadine with respect to CNS adverse effects, although both drugs are associated with adverse gastrointestinal effects. In addition, the dosage regimen of rimantadine is less dependent on renal function than that of amantadine.

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