Sunday, February 08, 2015

Antiviral drugs for this year’s seasonal influenza

From the Medical Letter via JAMA.

From the article:

In patients with mild illness caused by a susceptible strain of influenza, starting treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor within 48 hours after the onset of illness can decrease the duration of fever and symptoms and may also reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia.3 In hospitalized and critically ill patients, observational studies indicate that these drugs can decrease the risk of death when started soon after symptom onset; the results of some studies suggest that treatment within 4-5 days after symptoms appear may still have some benefit.4- 6 The usual duration of treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor is 5 days, but a prolonged treatment course (eg, 10 days) is often used for critically ill or immunocompromised patients, in whom viral replication may be protracted.

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