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J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Apr;16(2):77-86. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-16.2.77.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Prophylaxis in Special Populations: Is it Something Worth Considering in Cystic Fibrosis and Immunosuppression?

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the United States. Prophylaxis with palivizumab is effective in reducing RSV hospitalizations in premature infants and in infants or children with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease. Patients with CF or those who are immunocompromised may be at increased risk for RSV infection-related complications; hence, prophylaxis may prove beneficial to these populations. The extent of palivizumab use in the CF and immunocompromised populations is variable. Palivizumab appears to be safe and may be effective in infants and young children with CF and immunocompromise. However, well-designed, randomized, controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals are lacking, and its routine use can therefore not be recommended at this time. If used in patients with CF or those who are immunocompromised, RSV prophylaxis should be restricted to peak outbreak months in order to optimize the cost benefit of palivizumab.

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