Prevention and Control of Influenza, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Nicole M. Smith, PhD; Joseph S. Bresee, MD; David K. Shay, MD; Timothy M. Uyeki, MD; Nancy J. Cox, PhD; Raymond A. Strikas, MD


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2006;55(27):1-41. 

In This Article

Antiviral Agents for Influenza

Zanamivir and oseltamivir are chemically related antiviral drugs known as neuraminidase inhibitors that have activity against both influenza A and B viruses. Both zanamivir and oseltamivir were approved in 1999 for treatment of uncomplicated influenza virus infections. In 2000, oseltamivir was approved for chemoprophylaxis of influenza among persons aged ≥13 years and was approved for chemoprophylaxis of children aged ≥1 year in 2005. In 2006, zanamivir was approved for chemoprophylaxis of children aged ≥5 years.

The two drugs differ in pharmacokinetics, side effects, routes of administration, approved age groups, dosages, and costs. An overview of the indications, use, administration, and known primary side effects of these medications is presented in the following sections. Package inserts should be consulted for additional information. Detailed information regarding amantadine and rimantadine is available in the previous publication of the ACIP influenza recommendations.[285]


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