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J Infect Dis. 1999 Aug;180(2):254-61.

Efficacy and safety of the neuraminidase inhibitor zanamivirin the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The efficacy and safety of zanamivir, administered 2x or 4x daily over 5 days, was evaluated in the treatment of influenza infections. A total of 1256 patients entered the study; 57% of those randomized had laboratory-confirmed influenza infection. The primary end point, "alleviation of major symptoms," was created to evaluate differences in clinical impact. In the overall population with or without influenza infection, zanamivir reduced the median number of days to reach this end point by 1 day (P=.012 2x daily vs. placebo; P=.014 4x daily vs. placebo). The reduction was greater in patients treated within 30 h of symptom onset, febrile at study entry, and in defined high-risk groups. Zanamivir reduced nights of disturbed sleep, time to resumption of normal activities, and use of symptom relief medications. It was well tolerated. These results suggest that zanamivir can significantly reduce the duration and overall symptomatic effect of influenza.

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