Evid Based Nurs 9:108 doi:10.1136/ebn.9.4.108
  • Treatment

Review: antiviral agents reduce risk of influenza in healthy adults and alleviate symptoms faster than placebo

 Q In healthy adults, do antiviral agents reduce the risk of influenza and improve outcomes in affected people?


GraphicData sources:

Medline (August 2005), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (June 2005), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Issue 3, 2005), and bibliographies of relevant systematic reviews and retrieved trials.

GraphicStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared amantadine, rimantadine, or neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) with placebo, no treatment, or symptomatic treatment for prophylaxis or treatment of influenza in otherwise healthy people 16–65 years of age. 53 RCTs met the selection criteria.


cases of symptomatic or asymptomatic influenza (confirmed by laboratory testing) and influenza-like illness (ILI) (clinical criteria only); alleviation of symptoms and viral shedding or load in affected people; and adverse effects.


In prophylaxis trials, amantadine, but …

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