Swine flu has been confirmed in patients in 5 states and abroad, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines today on which antiviral drugs will be most effective in combating it.
A total of 4 antivirals have been approved to treat influenza in this country, but the CDC reports that only 2 will work against the swine strain: oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). The CDC advises clinicians to consider treating any person with confirmed or suspected swine influenza with one of these prescription medications. For more information, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/antiviral_swine.htm.
The agency is reminding providers that recommendations for using antiviral drugs for treatment and prevention of swine flu will change as more is learned about this new virus. Updated guidance for clinicians and public health professionals can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance/.
What to Tell Your Inquisitive Patients
Adapted from material provided on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/swineflu).