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Tamiflu effective for treatment and prevention of influenza in children 1 year and older
Date:11/15/2007

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) significantly reduces illness severity and duration in children one year and older, particularly if given within 24 hours of symptom onset, according to new data presented at the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease (WISPID) meeting in Bangkok 15-18 November. The antiviral Tamiflu was also shown to reduce the incidence of respiratory tract infections, ear infections and antibiotic use. In addition this season smaller child sized Tamiflu (oseltamivir) capsules of 30 mg and 45 mg doses will be available to provide easier and more convenient dosing by parents.

Children tend to be major vectors of influenza as they have limited pre-existing immunity, often spend time in groups and share germs easily. Its reassuring that oseltamivir can be used for the management of influenza in children as young as one year old, commented Dr Keith Reisinger, Primary Physicians Research, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, USA. There was a particularly severe influenza season in Australia this year which resulted in 6 deaths in children and we are monitoring whether the predominant strain circulating in Australia in 2007 A(H3) will have the same effect in the Northern Hemisphere when influenza strikes.

Tamiflu was shown to reduce influenza severity by almost a third (29%) and illness duration by a quarter (26%) compared to placebo when initiated within 48 hours of onset1. New data presented showed that if taken within 24 hours of symptom onset the influenza severity was halved (52%) and illness duration reduced by a third (34%) compared to placebo2. In addition there was a 55% reduction in severe ear infections (otitis media) in the Tamiflu group compared to placebo if treatment was started within 24 hours2. Tamiflu given as prevention reduced the incidence of secondary influenza infections3 by 55%. In studies Tamiflu was shown to be well tolerated and did not increase the risk for neurophsychiatric adverse events4.

The new low
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Contact: Lucy Rispin
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Source:Eurekalert

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