Influenza Antiviral Medications
What antiviral drugs are recommended by the CDC for treatment of the flu this?
There are three FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs recommended by CDC this season to treat influenza:
Generic oseltamivir is available as a pill. Tamiflu® is available as a pill or liquid. Relenza® is a powder that is inhaled. (Relenza® is not recommended for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD.) Rapivab® is given intravenously by a health care provider.
Timing of Treatment and Implications for Patient Evaluation, Treatment and Testing
Clinical benefit is greatest when antiviral treatment is administered early in the illness course. When indicated, antiviral treatment should be started as soon as possible after illness onset and should not be delayed even for a few hours to wait for the results of testing. Ideally, treatment should be initiated within 48 hours of symptom onset. However, antiviral treatment initiated later than 48 hours after illness onset can still be beneficial for some patients. Observational studies of hospitalized patients suggest that while the greatest benefit occurs when antiviral treatment is initiated within 48 hours of illness onset, treatment might still be beneficial when initiated up to 4 or 5 days after symptom onset. Also, a randomized placebo controlled study suggested clinical benefit when oseltamivir was initiated 72 hours after illness onset among febrile children with uncomplicated influenza. Clinical judgment, on the basis of
the patient’s disease severity and progression, age, underlying medical conditions, likelihood of influenza, and time since onset of symptoms, is important when making antiviral treatment decisions for outpatients.
CDC Antiviral Recommendations for the 2014-2015 Season
CDC Influenza Antiviral Treatment Recommendations
All Hospitalized, Severely ill, and High Risk Patients with Suspected Influenza Should Be Treated with Antivirals
Any patient with suspected or confirmed influenza in the following categories should be treated with a neuraminidase inhibitor: