Infectious Diseases

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Short Supplies, Poor Taste Not Stopping Use of New Flu Drugs

KEY POINT

January’s flu epidemic produced spot shortages of the new, broad-spectrum neuraminidase inhibitors, but many patients could have been treated with older, less expensive agents that are effective against influenza A—the organism causing most problems this winter. In addition, flu vaccine remains the primary preventive measure that should be standard in high-risk groups.

SOURCES

Hayden FG. Use of the selective oral neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir to prevent influenza. N Engl J Med. 1999;341:1336–43.

Hayden FG. Use of the oral neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir in experimental human influenza. JAMA. 1999;282:1240–6.

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