Data have shown that the use of antiviral treatment in the early stages of influenza can decrease the duration of fever and illness symptoms and can even lessen the risk of complications associated with influenza.

New drug approvals are creating opportunities to effectively and safely treat influenza.

Pharmacists should identify patients who may have influenza or who are at a high risk for the viral infection and be able to manage these patients’ influenza. Management of influenza can diminish associated complications, hospitalizations, and mortality rates.

An educational session to be presented Sunday at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle, Washington, explores the clinical benefits of antiviral therapy for decreasing influenza-associated complications. This satellite symposia runs from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. PT at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

Speakers for this session include Carrie Koenigsfeld, PharmD, Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and James Lewis, PharmD, FIDSA, Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. They are expected to address the etiology, pathophysiology, and patient populations at high risk for influenza-related complications.

The sessional also will educate participants about the mechanisms of action and adverse effect profiles of available and recently approved antivirals for the treatment of the influenza virus. In addition, the role of the community pharmacist in educating patients about the available and recently approved antivirals for treatment of the influenza virus will be identified.

The session is hosted by Pharmacy Times Continuing Education and is supported by an educational grant from Genentech, Inc.