Navigation Links
Findings suggest antivirals underprescribed for patients at risk for flu complications
Date:7/16/2014

Patients likely to benefit the most from antiviral therapy for influenza were prescribed these drugs infrequently during the 2012-2013 influenza season, while antibiotics may have been overprescribed. Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and now available online, the findings suggest more efforts are needed to educate clinicians about the appropriate use of antivirals and antibiotics in the outpatient setting.

Influenza is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity, resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year, on average. While annual vaccination remains the best defense, current recommendations advise prompt antiviral treatment for high-risk patients with influenza, including those who are hospitalized, who have severe influenza illness, or who are at higher risk for complications.

In their study, Fiona Havers, MD, MHS, and a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several other institutions analyzed data for approximately 6,800 patients with acute respiratory illness who were seen at five outpatient care centers in Washington state, Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The researchers examined prescription records for two influenza antiviral drugs (oseltamivir and zanamivir) and three common antibiotics (amoxicillin-clavulanate, amoxicillin, and azithromycin).

Overall, only 19 percent of the patients at high risk for influenza-associated complications who saw a primary-care provider within two days of the onset of their symptoms received antiviral treatment. Among patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza, just 16 percent were prescribed antivirals. In contrast, 30 percent of these patients received one of the three antibiotics.

"Our results suggest that during 2012-'13, antiviral medications were underprescribed and antibiotics may have been inappropriately prescribed to a large proportion of outpatients with influenza," the authors wrote. "Continuing education on appropriate antibiotic and antiviral use is essential to improve health care quality."

While some of the antibiotics may have been appropriate for bacterial infections secondary to influenza, which is caused by a virus, it is likely most were unnecessary, potentially contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, the authors noted.

In a related editorial, Michael G. Ison, MD, MS, Medical Director of the Transplant & Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases Service for Northwestern Medicine and associate professor of Infectious Diseases and Organ Transplantation at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, noted additional benefits associated with antiviral therapy for influenza, including reductions in lower respiratory infections, hospitalizations, antibiotic use, and stroke risk. This latest study "demonstrates that we are clearly failing our patients by not providing antiviral therapy to patients with influenza consistent with current guidelines while exposing many of the patients to antibiotics from which they likely derive little benefit."

Fast Facts

  1. Influenza is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity, resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year, on average.
  2. Annual vaccination remains the best defense against influenza; prompt treatment with antiviral drugs is recommended for high-risk patients.
  3. This study suggests antivirals were underprescribed in the outpatient setting during the 2013-2013 influenza season for patients at high risk for influenza-related complications, while antibiotics may have been overprescribed.


'/>"/>
Contact: Jerica Pitts
jpitts@pcipr.com
312-558-1770
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New findings in breast cancer
2. Kessler Foundation scientists present cognitive research findings at MS dual symposium
3. Researchers present new findings for novel pancreatic cancer vaccine
4. Mayo Clinic urologists present findings at American Urological Association Annual Meeting
5. Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Yields Sobering Findings
6. Columbus Allergist Dr. Summit Shah Discusses Recent Findings on Food Allergies and Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis
7. Relief for Migraine Sufferers as The Life House Offers New Findings, Free Consults
8. New findings by GW researcher break tanning misconceptions: There is no such thing as a safe tan
9. MRI findings shed light on multiple sclerosis
10. Unexpected findings at multi-detector CT scans: Less reason to worry
11. New findings on mens genes could alter interpretation of PSA test
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Water damage to the flooring of several ... had left education officials with a number of critical issues to address before students ... to be accomplished with little or no disruption to class schedules. Second, the project ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... In modern research, success depends ... instruments for research and understanding the basic principles that were designed to drive ... innovations in stereo microscopy for brightfield and fluorescence typically used in laboratories working ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Altec Products, Inc., a leader in enterprise ... one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. , At nVerge 2017, Altec will ... utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by providing improved visibility and control to ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Drs. ... NY, who have now spent 10 years as clinical instructors for the reputable ... College of Dentistry. Through the program, private practitioners receive cutting-edge clinical training and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... , ... Patients who want to receive cosmetic dentistry procedures such as Invisalign® ... for a consultation, with or without a referral. Dr. Bedich enjoys improving the appearance ... , Dr. Bedich offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry services at his practice that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... MARLBOROUGH, Mass., May 10, 2017 Hologic, Inc. ... financial results for the fiscal second quarter ended April ... (EPS) of $1.84 increased 666.7% compared to the prior ... business resulted in a significant gain, while non-GAAP diluted ... increased 3.2%, or 3.8% in constant currency terms.  Excluding ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... Md. , May 10, 2017 CSSi, ... solutions for the clinical research industry, is proud to ... www.CSSiEnroll.com . The new website features both enriched content ... user experience and enhances the company,s already well-established position ... industry. "After many months of hard ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... 9, 2017  Semler Scientific, Inc. (OTCQB: SMLR), ... to improve the clinical effectiveness and efficiency of ... first quarter ended March 31, 2017. ... customers to identify when preventive care options are ... like heart attacks or strokes occur," said ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: