Sunday, January 15, 2006

US: Health Officials Say Two Flu Drugs Unlikely to Work

U.S. doctors should stop using two medicines to treat this season's influenza because the dominant strain has become resistant to the drugs and they are unlikely to work, health officials said on Saturday. The alert about antiviral pills amantadine and rimantadine applies to the seasonal influenza, not the H5N1 avian flu strain that experts fear could mutate and cause a global pandemic.

Tests of 120 samples of the H3N2 flu strain -- the major one causing flu illness in the United States -- showed it was resistant to amantadine and rimantadine in 91 percent of cases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Julie Gerberding said. Only 11 percent of cases were resistant to the two drugs during the last flu season. Doctors instead should prescribe either of two newer medicines, Tamiflu or Relenza, which still fight the strain, she said. Read More ....

Source: Reuters Science via Carol
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