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Study Questions Effectiveness of Tamiflu in Preventing the Spread of Bird Flu Virus

January 20th 2006

Study Questions Effectiveness of Tamiflu in Preventing the Spread of Bird Flu Virus

Tamiflu

Roche Holding AG reassured the public that their influenza drug Tamiflu is effective against the H5N1 avian influenza virus if administered early.  This is following a controversial study published yesterday by Lancet claiming the drug is not as effective as it has been represented to be.   Roche presented their evidence today at the Central Role for Antivirals in London.

Roches study suggests that Tamiflu can prevent H5N1 mortality in animals but says that further research is needed to determine the appropriate dosages if administered after the first 24 or 48 hours of infection. 

The Lancet study was funded by England’s Health Department and the Piemonte region of Italy. They analyzed the data from 50 clinical trials of flu medications including Tamiflu. 

 

The study in Lancet found that both Tamilfu and Relenza (produced by GlaxoSmithKline) are effective at ameliorating traditional symptoms of seasonal influenza.  This is the common type A or B influenza.  They found that these drugs do not treat other viruses that cause “flu-like” symptoms.

Dr. Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist based in Rome, conducted the researcher that appears in Lancet.  He says that doctors should not over-use Tamilflu.  Jefferson is worried that if doctors are not sure what virus they are treating that a resistance to the drug will “increase” and it will eventually lose its effectiveness.

Just last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advised doctors to quit using amantadine and rimantadine because this seasons flu strain has become resistant to them.

 

According to CDC director Julie Gerberding, reports that tests of 120 samples of H3N2, the dominant flu strain affecting the U.S., indicated the virus was resistant to the generic anti-virals amantadine and rimantadine in 91% of the cases.

Two studies showed that Tamiflu prevented the transmission of the influenza virus between family members.  Other studies showed the drug does not completely stop the virus from being “shed” from infected people to others.  This may suggest the drug will not prevent the spread of a virus during an epidemic. 

Dr. Jefferson recommends the use of Tamilfu during an epidemic since instances of influenza A and B will increase.  According to the newsinferno website this will increase the “effectiveness of the drug in terms of the number of people who might benefit from it.”     

 
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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Bird Flu Books

Keywords and misspellings: bird flue influensa tamiflu tamaflu tamaflue roch


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM