- Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that can be used to treat H1N1 (Swine) flu, or to prevent infection with H1N1 flu viruses. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.
- If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious influenza complications. The sooner a sick person is treated with an antiviral, the greater effect it will have on the patient's recovery.
- Influenza antiviral drugs also can be used to prevent influenza when they are given to a person who is not ill, but who has been or may be near a person with influenza. When used to prevent the flu, antiviral drugs are about 70% to 90% effective.
- There are four influenza antiviral drugs approved for use in the United States (oseltamivir, zanamivir, amantadine and rimantadine). Only two, oseltamivir and zanamivir are effective in treating H1N1 flu.
Antivirals and H1N1
- Clinicians should consider treating any person with confirmed or suspected H1N1 flu with an antiviral drug.
- There are four influenza antiviral drugs. Only two, oseltamivir and zanamivir are effective in treating H1N1 flu.
- Laboratory tests have shown that influenza A (H1N1) viruses are susceptible (sensitive) to Oseltamivir (TAMIFLU®) and Zanamivir (RELENZA®).
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