Back to top

Glutamate antagonist

There is one glutamate antagonist, amantadine, that can be prescribed to treat Parkinson's symptoms. The generic name is amantadine, but it is prescribed under the name Symmetrel.

Amantadine isn't used very often and is most likely to be given along with other drug treatments for Parkinson's.

Exactly how this drug works for Parkinson's isn't known yet. It may modify levels of certain chemicals in the brain.

It isn't used very often and is most likely to be given along with other drug treatments for Parkinson's.

It is available in capsules and as a syrup.

The drug has only a mild effect, helps only a minority of people and its effectiveness may be short-lived.

It may have a stimulatory effect and can help some people with tiredness.

It can be used to treat tremor and stiff muscles and it can reduce unwanted involuntary movements without making other symptoms worse.

Side effects of glutamate antagonist

It is not a first-choice treatment for Parkinson's and has a limited effect. Side effects include:

  • blurred vision, fainting, confusion or dizziness
  • swelling of the ankles or a mottled appearance on the skin of the lower leg

More information about amantadine

Read our Drug treatments for Parkinson's booklet.

See the Amantadine eMC wenbpage for independent, up to date information about this medicine.