Amantadine Treatment for People with COVID-19

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2020 Jun 12

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Ramiro Araújo,a José Dolores Aranda-Martínez,b and Gonzalo Emiliano Aranda-Abreuc,∗


SARS-Cov-2, whose symptoms include difficulty swallowing, coughing, diarrhea, and breathing failure, has caused the loss of many lives around the world. In the absence of a vaccine or medication to help prevent or decrease the effects of the disease, we suggest that amantadine may reduce the effects of COVID-19.Key Words: Drugs, Amantadine, COVID-19

      In December 2019, a new virus emerged in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province in China, which has been named COVID-19. This virus is SARS-Cov-2, whose symptoms are difficulty in swallowing, coughing, diarrhea and in severe cases difficulty in breathing. Several laboratories are working hard to develop a vaccine however, this process can take at least 18 months. For this reason, alternatives have been studied in order to mitigate the effects of the virus. In a clinical trial conducted with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, as treatment showed reduction in viral load (1), however, studies conducted by Molina and collaborators (2), do not show evidence of a decrease in viral load and benefits for patients with COVID-19. Another study conducted in Manaus Brazil, shows that in patients with severe coronavirus infection, the use of chloroquine combined with azithromycin is not recommended as it presents significant safety risks (3), however, they mention that the results cannot be extrapolated to patients with non-severe COVID-19
As a viable alternative, amantadine could be used to mitigate the effects of COVID-19; studies have shown that people with Parkinson’s disease who are on amantadine treatment and have tested positive for the coronavirus have not had clinical manifestations of the disease (4). The mechanism that has been proposed is that amantadine, being a lipophilic molecule, can cross the lysosome membrane acting as an alkalizing agent (5) that will prevent the release of viral RNA into the cell. Amantadine has been used as an antiviral therapy against the influenza A virus, the proposed mechanism is that the drug blocks the early stage of viral replication. When the viral particle enters the cell, an endosome is formed, which has an acid pH of 5, the proton channel is formed by the M2 protein, which carries protons into the interior of the virion. Amantadine by its lipophilic nature is able to cross the endosome membrane and interrupt the release of the virion into the cell. Similarly, amantadine may enter the E-channel of the coronavirus preventing the release of the viral nucleus into the cell. Docking studies suggest how amantadine would interact with the amino acids ALA22 and PHE26, blocking the proton channel (6).


Amantadine, which I have heard called “Asclepion’s Trident”, is a drug whose therapeutic indications are divided into 3 specialties: Neurology, Psychiatry and Infectology. It is a small molecule, a monoamine, with interesting pharmacological effects.

It began to be used as a drug for humans in 1969 as a corrective medication for involuntary movement disorders and soon began to be used by psychiatry to control undesirable side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs (neuroleptics) and in neurology for the treatment of movement disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease.

In 1976 it was approved by the FDA for the symptomatic and/or prophylactic treatment of influenza A in adults. It was one of the drugs studied (in vitro) that revealed its therapeutic potential, at the time of the SARS-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-epidemic in 2002 (7).

Amantadine is well absorbed when administered orally, it is well tolerated by the digestive system and the dose normally recommended for an adult is 1 capsule of 100 mg, twice a day for at least 14 d which is the time the virus remains in the body.


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Amantadine disrupts lysosomal gene expression: A hypothesis for COVID19 treatment

Sandra P. Smieszek, Bart P. Przychodzen, and Mihael H. Polymeropoulos


Observational study of people infected with SARS-Cov-2, treated with amantadine

  • Gonzalo Emiliano Aranda-Abreu,
  • José D. Aranda-Martínez,
  • Ramiro Araújo,
  • María Elena Hernández-Aguilar,
  • Deissy Herrera-Covarrubias &
  • Fausto Rojas-Durán



We conducted an observational study of 15 patients from a Southeastern area of Mexico with symptoms compatible with SARS-Cov-2, which were treated with the antiviral amantadine.


In this study, data were collected from 15 individuals with clinical symptoms of COVID-19 infection, which were treated on an ambulatory basis with 100 mg of amantadine for a period of 14 days.


This drug demonstrated its effectiveness, as patients recovered successfully with this treatment without the necessity of attending a hospital to use mechanical ventilation. All patients developed IgG antibodies to SARS-Cov-2.


Amantadine can be used as a viable and cost-effective alternative for treating people with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-Cov-2) on an ambulatory basis, while the vaccine is not available.


Wyleczę COVID-19 w 48 godzin! Przez naciski “z góry” lekarz nie może zajmować się koronawirusem!

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