When is influenza antiviral therapy indicated for inpatient populations?

Updated: Oct 13, 2021
  • Author: Christian E Sandrock, MD, MPH, FCCP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Antiviral therapy should be initiated as early as possible in hospitalized patients with suspected or confirmed influenza, preferably within the first 48 hours of illness. However, antiviral therapy may still improve outcomes in hospitalized patients or outpatient high-risk individuals if started after the initial 48 hours of illness. Zanamivir disc inhaler administration is not possible for intubated patients or very young children, and is not appropriate in patients with underlying airway disease (eg, asthma, COPD). Depending on the severity of illness, hospitalized patients may require more than 5 days of antiviral therapy.

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