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Oseltamivir reduces viral shedding in low-risk influenza patients

23 Aug 2019

Treatment with oseltamivir shows virologic efficacy in patients at low risk of complications of influenza, with the drug reducing viral shedding as compared with placebo, a study has found.

Researchers randomized 556 patients (median age, 36 years; 62 percent female; 69 percent Asian) to receive either oseltamivir 75 mg (n=277) or placebo (n=279) orally twice a day for 5 days. All patients presented with at least one respiratory symptom (cough, sore throat and nasal symptoms) that started no more than 48 hours before screening and were screened for influenza by rapid antigen or polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Of the randomized patients, 501 were confirmed to have influenza. A total of 449 patients contributed data for the analysis of the primary endpoint, which was the percentage of participants with virus detectable by PCR in nasopharyngeal swab at day 3.

Results for the primary endpoint were significantly more favourable in the oseltamivir arm (99 of 220 [45.0 percent] vs 131 of 229 [57.2 percent] patients; absolute difference, –12.2 percent; p=0.010). Symptoms in patients with confirmed influenza infection improved within a median of 79.0 hours with the active drug and 84.0 hours with placebo (p=0.34).

According to the researchers, the findings should not be used to raise a question about the utility of oseltamivir in most populations. They believe that there are sufficient data from several previous studies, including many nonmanufacturer sponsored observational studies, to support the conclusion that neuraminidase inhibitors such as oseltamivir have clinical benefit, and that current recommendations advocating its use for treating influenza patients requiring hospitalization, those who are very sick, and those who are at high risk of severe influenza complications are justified.

However, caution should be exercised when extending those recommendations to include treatment of a low-risk population, given the minimal virologic benefit and the nonsignificant clinical differences demonstrated in the present study, the researchers added.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 6 days ago

Beta-blockers could reduce mortality risk in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and moderate or moderately-severe renal dysfunction without causing harm, according to the BB-META-HF* trial presented at ESC 2019.

Prof. Vincent Wong, Prof. Ray Kim, Dr. Tan Poh Seng, 10 Sep 2019
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) remains a major public health concern because of its worldwide distribution and potential adverse sequelae, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). At a recent symposium held during the GIHep Singapore 2019, Professor Vincent Wong from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Professor Ray Kim from the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, US, discussed antiviral treatments for CHB, with a focus on the novel agent tenofovir alafenamide (Vemlidy®). Dr Tan Poh Seng from the National University Hospital, Singapore, chaired the symposium.
6 days ago
Blood pressure (BP) in children is influenced by early-life exposure to several chemicals, built environment and meteorological factors, suggests a study.
Pearl Toh, 12 hours ago
The use of SGLT-2* inhibitors was not associated with a higher risk of severe or nonsevere urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared with DPP**-4 inhibitors or GLP-1*** receptor agonists, a population-based cohort study shows.