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J Infect Dis. 2000 Apr;181(4):1471-4. Epub 2000 Apr 13.

Rapid antiviral effect of inhaled zanamivir in the treatment of naturally occurring influenza in otherwise healthy adults.

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Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Pavillon CHUL, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada.


The antiviral and clinical effects of inhaled zanamivir (10 mg twice daily for 5 days, started within the first or second day of a flulike illness) were evaluated in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial during the 1997-1998 influenza season in Canada. Pharyngeal secretions were collected with swabs every 12 h during 6 days, and symptoms were self-evaluated twice daily during 14 days. After only 12 h of treatment (1 dose), median virus titers decreased by 1.0 log10 TCID50/mL in the zanamivir group (n=17), compared with a 0. 42-log10 increase in the placebo group (n=10; P=.08). This was associated with a 4.5-day (47.4%) reduction in the median time to alleviation of all significant flu symptoms in the zanamivir recipients (P=.03 after adjusting for the initial virus titer and the time between onset of symptoms and treatment). Resistance to zanamivir was not detected in virus isolates by either phenotypic or genotypic assays.

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