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March 21, 1977

Vision Loss Associated With Amantadine Hydrochloride Use

Author Affiliations

Jules Stein Eye Institute Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Hospital of the Good Samaritan Los Angeles

JAMA. 1977;237(12):1200. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270390016009

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To the Editor.—  Amantadine hydrochloride (Symmetrel) has two separate and apparently unrelated pharmacologic actions: It is most commonly used to control the tremor of Parkinson disease, and it has an antiviral action in the prevention of type A influenza. Blurring of vision has been reported as an infrequent complication of drug use. The mechanism causing this problem is unknown.

Report of a Case.—  A 67-year-old man was first seen in 1973 for a routine eye examination. Apart from a mild astigmatic refractive error and the normal presbyopia of his age, the findings were completely within normal limits. He was seen again in August 1975 for a superficial corneal abrasion of the right eye, which cleared spontaneously without sequelae. In September 1975, his vision was fully correctable to 20/20 in each eye, with no evidence of incipient cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration of the retina, or optic nerve disease.In November 1976,