The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Antiviral Drugs for Influenza

Antiviral drugs can be used for treatment of patients with influenza and for prophylaxis of influenza exposures that occur before or less than 2 weeks after vaccination. They can also be used to control institutional influenza outbreaks and for prophylaxis in years when circulating strains differ from those included in the vaccine.

AMANTADINE AND RIMANTADINE — During the 2005-06 influenza season, widespread resistance of influenza A virus to amantadine (Symmetrel, and others) and rimantadine (Flumadine, and others) was encountered for the first time in the US, and the resistant viruses were transmissible and pathogenic. The same was true of isolates from 2006-07, so these drugs are not currently recommended for prophylaxis or treatment of seasonal influenza A.1-3 Neither is active against influenza B.

NEURAMINIDASE INHIBITORS — Prophylaxis – ... more      

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