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October 16, 1967

Amantadine Hydrochloride

Author Affiliations

Loma Linda, Calif

JAMA. 1967;202(3):247-248. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130160121044

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To the Editor:—  Recent reports ( 200:943-950, and 201:372-373, 1967) on the antiviral compound, amantadine hydrochloride, effective in suppressing A2 virus strains of influenza in the laboratory and in limited field trials, have raised several points that deserve comment. The remarks directed toward validity of data can be best answered by time and further observations.The basic question that must be asked by each physician prescribing amantadine hydrochloride is whether or not to "prophylactically" suppress influenza. The concept of chemoprophylaxis in the face of so-called sporadic influenza appears untenable. However, a widespread epidemic with increased absenteeism from school, etc, and recovery of strains of A2 influenza that are shown to be sensitive to the action of amantadine should be a clear indication for its use. It must be used in proper dosage and before contact.A significant unanswered question regarding amantadine hydrochloride is how it will act on any new antigenic A type that could emerge and result in the dreadful