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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Double dose flu drug has no impact

Friday May 31st, 2013

High doses of anti-flu drugs make no difference to patient recovery, researchers say today.

The British researchers say their research shows no benefit from intensive therapy with drugs such as oseltamivir.

The findings, reported in the British Medical Journal, come from a study of more than 300 patients in south-east Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Most of the patients were children under the age of 15.

The researchers say that patients given double doses of the drug oseltamivir fared no better than those given single doses - and measurement of virus levels after five days showed no impact from extra doses.

The project was backed by the UK Medical Research Council together with counterparts in the USA and Singapore.

The findings come in a week in which researchers suggested gene therapy might be worth developing in case of a flu epidemic - and Chinese researchers reported the rapid emergence of drug-resistant strains of virus.

Researcher Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the South East Asia Infectious Disease Clinical Research Network said: "The recommendation to give higher doses of oseltamivir to severe cases of flu infection has major implications for clinical management, public health, and planning for antiviral stockpiles but has not been grounded in evidence.

"Our findings do not support routine use of double doses to treat severe flu infections, which could help to conserve drug stocks in the event of a pandemic."

Effect of double dose oseltamivir on clinical and virological outcomes in children and adults admitted to hospital with severe influenza: double blind randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal 31 May 2013. [abstract]

Tags: Asia | Flu & Viruses | North America | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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