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Report Questions Effectiveness of Flu Meds

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 – No evidence exists to show that anti-flu medicines stockpiled by countries around the world protect people from the spread of flu or reduce related hospitalizations and complications, a new analysis contends. The report from the nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration urges world leaders who spend countless dollars on medications like Tamiflu and Relenza for use in an influenza pandemic to reconsider this practice. The findings, published April 10 in the BMJ, come from an analysis of internal reports of 20 Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and 26 Relenza (zanamivir) trials that involved more than 24,000 people. Taking one of these drugs may reduce flu symptoms in adults by less than a day compared to taking an inactive placebo, the researchers found. However, they said claims that the drugs – known as neuraminidase inhibitors – curb flu transmission or reduce complications ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tamiflu, Oseltamivir, Relenza, Zanamivir

Tamiflu Saved Lives During Swine Flu Pandemic, Study Confirms

Posted 18 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 – The antiviral drug Tamiflu reduced the risk of death by 25 percent among adults hospitalized during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, according to a new review. Also, antiviral treatment within 48 hours of developing flu symptoms halved the risk of death compared with starting treatment later or receiving no treatment, according to the study, which was published March 18 in the journal The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The risk of death rose by about 20 percent for every 24 hours that treatment was delayed after 48 hours since the start of symptoms, the researchers also found. "As expected, early treatment seems to be optimal, and treatment shouldn't be delayed by even one day to wait for diagnostic test results," Alicia Fry, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in an accompanying journal editorial. "However, if the patient presents for ... Read more

Related support groups: Tamiflu, Swine Influenza, Oseltamivir

Liquid Tamiflu for Kids in Short Supply

Posted 8 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2014 – Manufacturing problems have created a shortage of the liquid form of Tamiflu, which is designed for young children who can't swallow capsules, U.S. health officials announced Wednesday. The drug's maker, Genentech, has fallen behind in production of this version of the flu medication, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the shortage doesn't include the capsule form of Tamiflu, which remains in good supply, said Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Influenza Division. Flu vaccines also remain widely available and unaffected by shortages, FDA spokesman Eric Pahon said. The CDC recommends vaccination for everyone older than 6 months of age as the best way to try to ward off the flu. A shortage of liquid Tamiflu could cause some children to be sick with the flu longer, Jhung said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Tamiflu, Oseltamivir

Kids Hospitalized for Flu Need Antiviral Meds Right Away: Study

Posted 25 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 – Kids near death because of severe flu infection have a better chance of survival if they are given antiviral medications early in their treatment, researchers say. Children treated with antiviral drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) within the first 48 hours of serious flu symptoms developing are significantly more likely to survive, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the journal Pediatrics. "The benefit was more apparent for the most severely ill children, who required a ventilator to help with breathing," said co-author Dr. Janice Louie, chief of the influenza and respiratory diseases section at the California Department of Public Health's Center for Infectious Diseases. In children rendered critically ill by the flu, treatment with NAIs reduced their risk of dying by 64 percent, the study found. Researchers found that in recent years, ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tamiflu, Oseltamivir, Relenza, Zanamivir

Doubling Tamiflu Dose for Severe Flu Doesn't Help: Study

Posted 30 May 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 30 – People with a severe case of the flu don't benefit from taking double doses of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, according to a new study conducted in Southeast Asia. Tamiflu (oseltamivir) stocks could be conserved during pandemics if doctors prescribe only standard doses of this medication, World Health Organization experts suggested. The study involved 326 patients diagnosed with severe flu at 13 hospitals in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam between April 2007 and February 2010. Most of the patients were children younger than 15, but some adults also were included. Health-care workers treated the patients with either a standard dose of Tamiflu (75 milligrams twice daily or the children's equivalent), or a double dose of the medication (150 milligrams twice daily or children's equivalent) over the course of five days. Patients' virus levels were measured through ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tamiflu, Oseltamivir

New China Bird Flu May Be Resistant to Tamiflu

Posted 28 May 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 28 – Chinese scientists say they've identified the first cases of resistance to the flu drug Tamiflu in a person infected with the emerging H7N9 avian flu virus. According to BBC News, there have been 131 confirmed cases in China of the new "bird" flu in humans so far, including 36 deaths. No new cases have been identified in over two weeks. According to the new report, published online May 28 in The Lancet, viral samples from three of 14 patients treated for H7N9 in a Shanghai hospital tested positive for resistance to Tamiflu (oseltamivir). These three patients were also the most severely ill – two died, and the third was still on mechanical ventilation at the time the Lancet paper was published. "The apparent ease with which antiviral resistance emerges in A/H7N9 [flu] viruses is concerning; it needs to be closely monitored and considered in future pandemic response ... Read more

Related support groups: Tamiflu, Oseltamivir, Avian Influenza

'Spot' Shortages of Flu Vaccine, Tamiflu Reported, FDA Head Says

Posted 15 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 – Sporadic shortages of both the flu vaccine and the flu treatment Tamiflu are being reported, as this year's intense flu season continues, according to a top U.S. health official. "We have received reports that some consumers have found spot shortages of the vaccine," Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Monday on her blog on the agency's website. Hamburg said that the agency is "monitoring this situation and will update you at our website and at www.flu.gov." So far, more than 128 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed, Hamburg said, but not all the doses have been administered to people yet. She said that people who already have the flu may also be experiencing local shortages of Tamiflu, a drug that can help treat influenza. "We do anticipate intermittent, temporary shortages of the oral suspension form of ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tamiflu, Oseltamivir, FluLaval, Afluria, Fluzone, Fluvirin, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flushield, Influenza Prophylaxis, Flucelvax, Fluarix, Fluzone WV, Fluogen, Fluzone PFS, Agriflu, Fluzone SV, Fluzone Preservative-Free

FDA Expands Tamiflu's Use to Treat Children Younger Than One Year

Posted 21 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

December 21, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) to treat children as young as 2 weeks old who have shown symptoms of flu for no longer than two days. The drug is not approved to prevent flu infection in this population. In addition, the safety and efficacy of Tamiflu to treat flu infection has not been established in children younger than 2 weeks old. Tamiflu was approved in 1999 to treat adults infected with flu who have shown symptoms for no longer than two days. It has since been approved to treat flu in children ages 1 year and older who have shown symptoms of flu for no longer than two days, and to prevent flu in adults and children ages 1 year and older. Although there is a fixed dosing regimen for patients 1 year and older according to weight categories, the dosing for children younger than 1 year must be ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tamiflu, Swine Influenza, Oseltamivir, Swine Flu, Influenza Prophylaxis, Flu Prevention, Flu

Cases of Tamiflu-Resistant Flu Concern Experts

Posted 28 Dec 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 – World Health Organization researchers are reporting an apparent spike in Australia in the number of seasonal influenza cases resistant to Tamiflu, the most commonly used antiviral drug. The jump in such cases involving the pandemic 2009 A(H1N1) flu strain, also known as swine flu, took place during Australia's most recent winter: May through August of 2011. "In 2007/2008, a different A(H1N1) influenza virus developed Tamiflu-resistance," explained WHO research scientist Aeron C. Hurt, who reported the spike. "On that occasion, it was first detected in large numbers in Europe. However, within 12 months the virus had spread globally, such that virtually every A(H1N1) virus around the world was resistant to this drug," he explained. "This previous situation demonstrated the speed and potential for a Tamiflu-resistant virus to spread worldwide," Hurt added. "Our ... Read more

Related support groups: Tamiflu, Swine Influenza, Oseltamivir

FDA Warns About Fraudulent Tamiflu

Posted 18 Jun 2010 by Drugs.com

Fraudulent product is dangerous to patients allergic to penicillin ROCKVILLE, Md., June 17, 2010--The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned consumers about a potentially harmful product represented as “Generic Tamiflu” sold over the Internet. FDA tests revealed that the fraudulent product does not contain Tamiflu’s active ingredient, oseltamivir, but cloxacillin, an ingredient in the same class of antibiotics as penicillin. The agency reminds patients who are allergic to or may have experienced adverse reactions from penicillin products that they are at risk of experiencing similar reactions from cloxacillin. This includes a sudden, potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, with symptoms that include difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, dizziness, loss of consciousness, or a rapid or weak pulse. To date, the FDA is not a ... Read more

Related support groups: Tamiflu, Oseltamivir

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Swine Influenza, Influenza, Influenza Prophylaxis, Avian Influenza

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