Fatigue is a common multiple sclerosis symptom, occurring in about 80 percent of people with MS and one of the primary causes of early retirement. Fatigue management plans for those with the disease help patients learn how to make behavioral changes and develop strategies to improve their effectiveness. However, approved therapies such as amantadine can also aid in combating fatigue as well.

shutterstock_312694520 Amantadine’s main uses are to treat Parkinson’s disease, herpes zoster, and influenza A, but it also improves fatigue levels in people with MS. The usual dosage for the management of fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis is 100 to 200 mg every day, taken in the morning or just after lunch in order to minimize insomnia (one of the drug’s common side effects). Other common side effects include dizziness and nausea.

The drug’s mechanism of action is not fully understood by researchers, but it is believed that amantadine exerts its function through action on glutamate receptors that influence the dopaminergic system.

The dopamine system is a group of nerve cells, most of which originate in the midbrain. They communicate with different parts of the forebrain, where they proceed into particular functions.

Along with behavioral changes, amantadine may be prescribed to improve energy levels and decrease fatigue, which in turn can improve the quality of life in those with multiple sclerosis.

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