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

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

METHODS

Embedded ImageData 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.

Embedded ImageStudy 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.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

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.

MAIN RESULTS

In prophylaxis trials, amantadine, but …

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