What is the efficacy of zanamivir in the treatment of influenza?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • Author: Hien H Nguyen, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

In a study of 837 relatives of family members infected with influenza, 20% of those treated with placebo became ill, compared with only 4% of those who received prophylactic zanamivir. [98] In addition, this study provided treatment to the index case family member, resulting in a 2.5-day reduction in illness as compared with placebo. Recombinant DNA viral sequences were performed in this study, and no resistant influenza strains developed.

In a placebo-controlled study of 445 patients by the Management of Influenza in the Southern Hemisphere Trialists (MIST) group 1, zanamivir reduced the duration and severity of illness. [99] Zanamivir was administered within 36 hours of symptom onset. The duration of influenza was reduced by 1.5 days in normal-risk groups and 2.5 days in high-risk groups. A significant decrease in the severity of illness in patients treated with zanamivir allowed them to resume normal activities much sooner.


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