Gocovri (amantadine) is a brand-name drug prescribed for certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) in adults. Gocovri comes as an extended-release oral capsule that’s typically taken once per day.
Gocovri is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help manage the following PD symptoms in people who are currently taking a levodopa-based PD treatment:
- dyskinesia, which are uncontrollable muscle movements
- “off” episodes, which are the return of symptoms between doses of levodopa when the drug wears off
Gocovri belongs to a drug class called anti-Parkinson’s agents. Gocovri isn’t available in a generic version.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Gocovri, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Gocovri, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for Gocovri provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Gocovri, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
The information below describes Gocovri’s typical dosages and other details about the drug.
Gocovri comes as an extended-release (ER) oral capsule. With ER medications, the drug is slowly released into your body over time.
Gocovri comes in two strengths: 68.5 milligrams (mg) and 137 mg.
Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing you a low dosage. Then, they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly recommended in adults. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for dyskinesia in people with PD
Doctors may prescribe Gocovri to treat dyskinesia in people with PD. The drug is typically taken with a levodopa-based PD treatment.
If your doctor prescribes Gocovri, your starting dose will likely be 137 mg. You’ll take this once daily at bedtime. After 7 days, your doctor may recommend increasing your dosage to 274 mg once daily at bedtime. This is the typically recommended dosage of Gocovri for people with PD dyskinesia. It’s also the maximum dose of Gocovri that’s recommended.
For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.
Dosage for “off” episodes in people with PD
The typically recommended dosage for this condition is the same as the dosage above for PD dyskinesia.
Gocovri is meant to be taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Gocovri is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Before you start taking Gocovri, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.
The Gocovri dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- how your body responds to Gocovri
- other medications you take
- side effects you may have with Gocovri
- your kidney function
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Gocovri dosage.
Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage if you take certain medications, such as anticholinergic drugs. These drugs can affect the level of Gocovri in your body. To find out what drugs may interact with Gocovri, see the “Interactions” section of this article.
Your doctor may also need to adjust your dosage if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will typically prescribe a lower dosage of Gocovri, depending on your kidney function.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you may have.
Gocovri comes as an oral capsule that you swallow whole. Do not divide, crush, or chew the capsules. You may take your dose with or without food.
With your doctor’s approval, you can open the capsule and sprinkle the pellets on applesauce. Swallow it right away without chewing the pellets. Then, drink a glass of water to make sure you’ve swallowed all the pellets.
It may be helpful to take Gocovri around the same time of day, typically at bedtime. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Gocovri can work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have questions about how to take Gocovri, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: You should not consume alcohol with Gocovri as it may increase your risk of side effects. For details about Gocovri’s side effects, see this article.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Gocovri in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss a dose of Gocovri, doctors typically recommend skipping it. Then, you take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time the next day. If you have questions about this, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
It’s important that you do not take more Gocovri than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects. These can include heart, kidney, and lung damage. In rare cases, it can even lead to death.
Effects of an overdose
Overdose effects of Gocovri can include:
- aggressive behavior
- fluid in your lungs
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty moving
- psychotic reactions
If you take more than the recommended amount of Gocovri
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Gocovri. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
It’s possible for treatment with Gocovri to cause dependence. With dependence, your body becomes used to a drug and needs it to function as usual. This means you may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Gocovri after taking it regularly for more than 4 weeks. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that happen after you stop taking a drug your body has become dependent on.)
Symptoms of withdrawal after abruptly stopping Gocovri include:
- increase in PD symptoms
- anxiety or agitation
- slurred speech
- muscle rigidity
- change in level of consciousness
These symptoms can be very uncomfortable. However, they’re usually not life threatening.
You and your doctor will periodically reevaluate your need for Gocovri throughout your treatment. If a decision is made to stop Gocovri, your doctor will slowly lower your dosage over time. This is known as a dose taper. A dose taper helps reduce your risk of withdrawal symptoms when you stop treatment with Gocovri.
Tapering your Gocovri dose could last several weeks. The exact time needed to taper your dose depends on your Gocovri dose and how long you’ve taken it.
Do not stop taking Gocovri unless your doctor specifically tells you to do so. If you have questions about your treatment, talk with your doctor.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Gocovri.
Is the dosage of Gocovri similar to the dosage of Osmolex ER?
Yes, there are some similarities in the dosages of these drugs. However, there are differences as well, including the timing of each dose and the strength. Both Gocovri and Osmolex ER (amantadine) are taken once daily. Typically, Gocovri is taken at bedtime, and Osmolex ER is taken in the morning.
These drugs also have the same active ingredient: an extended-release* form of amantadine. However, the dose in milligrams for each drug differs. This is because Gocovri comes as an oral capsule, and Osmolex ER is an oral tablet. These drug forms are absorbed differently by your body.
Like Gocovri, Osmolex ER may be prescribed for PD symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that are right for you.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.
* With extended release, the drug is slowly released into your body over time.
How long does it take for Gocovri to start working?
Gocovri starts to work a few hours after your first dose. Because of how the drug works, you likely won’t feel the drug working in your body. But your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Gocovri treatment.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Gocovri for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Gocovri without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Gocovri that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Gocovri. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Gocovri: For information about other aspects of Gocovri, refer to this article.
- Side effects: To learn about side effects of Gocovri, see this article. You can also look at the Gocovri prescribing information.
- Details about Parkinson’s disease (PD): For details about PD, see our PD hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.