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February 2012
Patient Care and Science
CDC Guidance for Influenza Antivirals Remains Unchanged

A recent review of randomized clinical trial data for influenza neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications published by the Cochrane Collaboration, and two related commentaries published in the British Medical Journal (available here and here), have raised questions about the value of antiviral medications for the prevention and treatment of influenza. After reviewing the available evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend the use of the neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral drugs (oral oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir) as an important adjunct in influenza prevention and treatment. Read CDC’s online statement for more information.

A meta-analysis review of observational studies of influenza antiviral treatment was published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Analyses focus on hospitalized patients and pregnant women, where there are no good randomized trial data, and provide strong support for CDC and IDSA recommendations to treat high-risk patients and to begin therapy early.
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