The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Antiviral Drugs for Influenza

Currently circulating influenza virus is almost universally pandemic 2009 influenza A H1N1, but seasonal influenza strains could also appear soon. Antiviral drugs are an important adjunct to influenza vaccination for treatment and chemoprophylaxis of both pandemic and seasonal influenza. They may, however, interfere with the efficacy of FluMist, the live-attenuated intranasal vaccine, if they are administered within 48 hours before or <2 weeks after FluMist administration. Inactivated vaccines are not affected by antiviral drug therapy.

In recent years, the susceptibility of circulating influenza strains has evolved rapidly and treatment recommendations have changed during the influenza season. The CDC influenza web site provides frequently updated information on antiviral resistance (


The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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