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Neuraminidase Inhibitors Linked to Lower Mortality Risk During 2009 Flu Pandemic — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 19, 2014

Neuraminidase Inhibitors Linked to Lower Mortality Risk During 2009 Flu Pandemic

By Kelly Young

Use of neuraminidase inhibitors was associated with reduced mortality among hospitalized patients during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, according to an industry-funded meta-analysis in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Researchers used patient-level data from 78 observational studies that included nearly 30,000 patients admitted for H1N1pdm09 influenza. Use of oseltamivir and zanamivir was associated with a 19% reduction in mortality, compared with no treatment. Those who received earlier treatment (within 2 days of symptom onset) had an even greater risk reduction than those who were treated later (odds ratio, 0.48). Children did not see a significant mortality benefit.

A CDC official comments: "Early treatment seems to be optimal, and treatment shouldn't be delayed by even 1 day to wait for diagnostic test results; however, if the patient presents for care more than 2 days after illness onset, treatment might still have some benefit, especially if they are severely ill."

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