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Fatigue (alertness) - amantadine

I’m due to start work as a school teacher next week after having been away from working life for a year, after 2 relapses last year affected me. I still suffer from fatigue now, but it affects me more cognitively than physically. In the morning I am relatively fine but come late afternoon my alertness & speech are slower.

my ms nurse discussed a drug called amantadine with me, which aims to make people more alert & hence reduce effects of fatigue. This could come in handy & help me during work. However it apparently doesnt work for every1 & there can be a few side effects but the only of knowing whether it will benefit me would be to try it.

I’m wondering what are other peoples experience of amantadine?

does any1 know of any nutrients or goods food which i can eat to give me increased energy & alertnes? I’ve been told that increasing my intake of apples & also nuts as well as eating more pasta will give me added energy… Im a regular monthly user of tysabri. I regularly exercise at the gym. Im 28 years old & clearly dont want to become hooked on medication when there are alternatives. I want the healthiest long term option.

thanks for reading. Any advice is much appreciated

I took amantadine to offset the effects of fatigue. It did reduce how much I yawned and I was a bit less tired but it did not seem to help with the heavy fatigue or cognitive side of things so in a bid to reduce my intake of medicine I stopped taking it. I had no issues with side effects, so I would say if it is a recommendation by a health care professional, give it a go and see if. it helps. you can always stop if it does not suit you. I now try to manage my energy like a bank account, when there is nothing in there don’t try to take any out and do not waste this vital resource.

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Hi

I tried amantadine a few years. I was one of the ones it didn’t do much for, though I didn’t have any side effects. But like you say, the only way of knowing for sure is to try it & see.

In terms of foods, I find bananas usually give me a quick boost. If you’re going to go for carbohydrates like pasta, make sure they’re complex, low GI ones. So anything made from white flour, like bread or pasta, will almost instantly leave me feeling lethargic. Wholemeal pasta is much better.

Avoid sugary snacks, which will just give you a spike followed by a crash. Even better, cut out anything with added sugar. Everyone I know I’ve ever spoken to who’s given it up all say the same thing - they’ll feel rubbish at first, as they go through the withdrawal symptoms. But after that, they feel so much better for it, and would never go back - more energy, & feeling fresher.

And for me, a quick change of scenery & breath of fresh air is often surprisingly effective.

Dan

I remembered the name of the medication that my Amantadine replaced. It was Modafinil , this was not very effective and according to my GP very expensive.

I find that by having breakfast every day , porridge when the weather is cold or toast when the weather is warm, I have a much better chance of not having an energy crash.

I used Amantadine for a few years, to begin with it helped with tiredness, but I eventually found it really wasn’t working anymore. I changed to Modafinil and for several years it helped enormously with fatigue; it’s a much more effective drug than Amantadine, albeit more expensive. I stopped taking it a couple of years ago as I started to feel very fatigued even with the drug. However, I’ve recently been thinking about restarting it. Some people have reported that it helps them cognitively and as my memory in particular is getting worse, I’ve wondered whether it would help.

If you do go for a drug to help your fatigue, then I heartily recommend Modafinil, if you can get it.

With regard to foods etc, I’m clueless, sorry.

Sue

Thanks for the reply guys

What is meant by complex carbs? In an ideal world i would have a good breakfast but it is so difficult getting up early for work so in all likelihood il have a quick brekkie consisting of weetabix. Any1 know of any quick foods which give increased energy?

any idea on how i get modafinil (if the amantadine isnt working)?

Complex carbs are wholegrain foods (like oats, wholemeal pasta or brown rice), nuts & seeds, or vegetables like beans or sweet potato. If you google it you’ll find loads of examples.

As for modafinil, you probably need to speak to your neurologist about it. It can be pretty difficult to get though, one of those things where it’s a postcode lottery.

Hope that helps

Dan

Porridge i find every morning is the best / quickest breakfast. If i need a quick pick me up i opt for a spoonful of manuka honey. A low G.I diet ( see if you can find some rosemary conley diets on line as they are slow energy realising meals that keep your energy levels up for longer. I also have found going for even a five mins walk helps the mental fatigue or having a ‘switch off’ by getting away from all sound, visual stimulation help to re set my body and brain

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