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Chest. 1988 Jun;93(6):1239-41.

Ribavirin aerosol in the elderly.

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Department of Medicine, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, OH.


Ribavirin aerosol is effective in treating respiratory syncytial virus and influenzal infections in children and young adults. It has not been studied in elderly patients. We evaluated the safety of ribavirin aerosol in eight elderly volunteers at high risk for influenza. Their mean age was 64 years; seven subjects had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Subjects received ribavirin aerosol for two or six hours with six hours between treatments. Regimens were continued for 96 hours. The drug was well tolerated. Subjects receiving ribavirin for 2 hours demonstrated a significant decrease in their forced expiratory volume in one second, peak expiratory flow rate and flow over the middle 50 percent of the forced vital capacity. These changes were small and the subjects' symptoms remained stable. Subjects receiving ribavirin for 6 hours had no significant changes in pulmonary function. We conclude that ribavirin aerosol is safe in elderly patients with underlying COPD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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