August 10, 2009
Tamiflu, anti-virals may not help children
A meta-analysis found anti-virals such as Tamiflu and Relenza may not help children with novel H1N1 flu, or swine flu, a researcher in Britain said.
Matthew Shun-Shin of John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University in England and colleagues conducted systematic review of data from published and unpublished randomized controlled trials using anti-virals in children younger than age 12.
However, none of these trials tested efficacy with the current pandemic strain of H1N1 flu, the review said.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found anti-viral drugs provide a small benefit by shortening the duration of illness in children with seasonal influenza and reducing household transmission, but they have little effect on asthma exacerbations or the use of antibiotics.
Their effects on serious complications or H1N1 influenza strain remain to be determined, the review said.