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J Infect Dis. 1980 Sep;142(3):377-83.

Evaluation of amantadine in the prophylaxis of influenza A (H1N1) virus infection: a controlled field trial among young adults and high-risk patients.


The usefulness of amantadine in the protection of humans against influenza A (H1N1) virus was evaluated in a double-blind field trial with 555 volunteers in Finland in the winter of 1978. Three populations--patients in a general hospital, adults in a home for the aged, and two groups of military conscripts--were chosen. Epidemic influenza occurred only in the two groups of conscripts: the incidence of serologically verified influenza was 66% and 83% in the groups that received placebo and 43% and 51% in the groups that received amantadine, giving protection rates of 36% (P = 0.05) and 39% (P = 0.001). The evaluation of the effect of amantadine on the occurrence of illness was obscured by concomitant adenoviral infections that caused influenza-like symptoms. No clear difference in the occurrences of side effects was observed between the placebo and amantadine-treated groups; however, a significantly greater number of participants who took 200 mg of amantadine/day (16.9%) stopped medication during the trial as compared with the placebo groups (7.6%) (P < 0.02).

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