Antiviral drug combo proves effective at reducing viral shedding

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Influenza patients receiving concurrent treatment with three antivirals exhibited less viral shedding three days post-infection than those treated solely with oseltamivir — known by the brand name Tamiflu — according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

For the study, researchers administered the combination antiviral therapy — consisting of oseltamivir, ribavirin and amantadine — twice a day to 239 flu patients seeking treatment in an ambulatory setting. The team treated another 394 flu patients with oseltamivir alone.

After three days of treatment, 40 percent of the combo cohort displayed viral shedding, opposed to 50 percent of the participants treated with Tamiflu. However, neither cohort experienced a difference in symptom reduction.

"Although combination treatment showed a significant decrease in viral shedding at day three relative to monotherapy, this difference was not associated with improved clinical benefit," concluded the study's authors. "More work is needed to understand why there was no clinical benefit when a difference in virological outcome was identified."

More articles on infection control: 
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Top 10 infection control stories, Sept. 18-22

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