Gocovri (amantadine) is a brand-name medication prescribed to help treat the involuntary movements of Parkinson’s disease in adults. As with other drugs, Gocovri can cause side effects, such as dizziness, dry mouth, and constipation.
Gocovri comes as an extended-release oral capsule. With extended release, the drug releases slowly into your body over a long period of time.
Gocovri can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Gocovri in clinical trials:
- dry mouth
- peripheral edema (swelling in the arms, hands, or legs)
* This is a serious side effect of Gocovri. For more information, see “Side effect specifics” below.
Mild side effects can occur with Gocovri use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Gocovri’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects that have been reported with Gocovri include:
- dry mouth
- decreased appetite
- eye problems, such as dry eyes or blurred vision
- difficulty sleeping
- muscle spasms
- peripheral edema (swelling in the arms, hands, or legs)
- mottled skin (blotchy or web-like lines that appear on the skin)
- urinary tract infection (UTI)
- mild allergic reaction*
These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Gocovri and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.
* An allergic reaction is possible after taking Gocovri. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Gocovri may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Gocovri’s prescribing information.
If you develop serious side effects while taking Gocovri, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). Symptoms can include:
- frequent need to urinate
- weak urine stream
- trouble starting to urinate
- Anxiety. Symptoms can include:
- increased heart rate
- difficulty concentrating
- excessive worrying
- Depression. Symptoms can include:
- loss of interest or pleasure in your typical activities
- changes in sleep
- Dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions). Symptoms can include:
- muscle cramps
- eyelids twitching
- jerky movements
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
- Difficulty managing impulses, such as gambling or binge eating.
- Excessive or sudden sleepiness.
- Orthostatic hypotension.*
- Severe allergic reaction.†
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Gocovri. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Gocovri may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Gocovri.
Hallucinations cause you to have sensations that your mind thinks are real even though they are not. These sensations can include hearing and seeing things that aren’t real.
You may have a higher risk of hallucinations if you have psychosis or a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia. If you have one of these conditions, your doctor may recommend a different treatment option.
What you can do
If you experience hallucinations or any unexplained sensations while taking Gocovri, tell your doctor right away. They can determine whether it’s safe for you to continue taking the medication.
If you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or seek emergency medical care.
Taking Gocovri may cause orthostatic hypotension. This was a commonly reported side effect in the drug’s clinical trials. Orthostatic hypotension is when your blood pressure suddenly drops if you sit or stand up too quickly. This can make you feel dizzy. Other possible symptoms include:
- blurred vision
What you can do
Orthostatic hypotension happened more often when first starting therapy or after an increase in dose.
To help prevent this side effect, make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. You should also avoid drinking alcohol since it can increase your risk of orthostatic hypotension.
The symptoms will typically go away as your body adjusts to a sitting or standing position. Try not to stand up quickly after sitting or lying down. When getting out of bed, it’s best to sit on the edge of the bed for a minute before standing.
If you become lightheaded or faint when standing up or you fall frequently, talk with your doctor. They may suggest additional ways to minimize this side effect.
Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:
- skin rash
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What you can do
For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Gocovri. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Gocovri. This drug may not be the right treatment option for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These include:
Kidney problems: If you have advanced kidney disease, your doctor will likely not prescribe Gocovri. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you have a history of kidney problems. They can determine whether treatment with Gocovri is safe for you.
Depression or suicidal thoughts: Taking Gocovri can cause depression and thoughts of suicide in some people. You may have an increased risk of these side effects if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts. Before taking Gocovri, be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve ever had these conditions. They can help determine whether Gocovri is the right treatment option for you.
Major psychotic disorder: Having psychosis or a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia increases the risk of hallucinations* as a side effect of Gocovri. If you have a history of psychosis or any psychotic disorder, tell your doctor. They’ll likely suggest a different treatment option for you.
Impulsive behaviors: While taking Gocovri, some people can experience intense, uncontrollable urges, such as spending money or binge eating. If you have impulses that are hard to resist, taking Gocovri could make them worse. Before starting this drug, talk with your doctor about any impulsive behaviors or urges you have or have had in the past. They can help determine whether Gocovri treatment is right for you.
Sleep disorder: Gocovri can cause excessive sleepiness, including falling asleep during daily activities. If you have a history of a sleep disorder, taking Gocovri may increase your risk of this side effect. Talk with your doctor about any sleep difficulties you may have before starting treatment with Gocovri.
Allergic reaction: If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Gocovri or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Gocovri. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding: It’s not known whether Gocovri is safe to use if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding your child. Please talk with your doctor before taking Gocovri if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. They can advise you on the risks and benefits of treatment with Gocovri.
Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol while taking Gocovri is not recommended. Alcohol can worsen certain side effects of the medication, such as dizziness or orthostatic hypotension.* If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about your alcohol consumption. They can help determine whether it’s safe for you to continue doing so during Gocovri treatment.
* This is a serious side effect of Gocovri. For details, see the “Side effect specifics” section above.
Like most medications, Gocovri can cause side effects. Many are mild and tend to go away on their own within a few days to weeks. You should talk with your doctor if any side effects last longer, are bothersome, or are severe.
If you’d like to learn more about Gocovri, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.
Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:
- More information about Gocovri: For details about other aspects of Gocovri, refer to this article.
- Dosage: For information about the dosage of Gocovri, view this article.
- A look at Parkinson’s disease: For details about Parkinson’s disease, see our Parkinson’s disease 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.