Journal Article

Short-Term Treatment with Zanamivir to Prevent Influenza: Results of a Placebo-Controlled Study

Laurent Kaiser, Dan Henry, Nancy P. Flack, Oliver Keene and Frederick G. Hayden

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 30, issue 3, pages 587-589
Published in print March 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/313696
Short-Term Treatment with Zanamivir to Prevent Influenza: Results of a Placebo-Controlled Study

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  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
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We explored the prophylactic activity of zanamivir after presumed exposure to influenza in the community. After close contacts with index cases of influenza-like illnesses, 575 subjects were randomized in 4 treatment groups: 144 received placebo, 141 received intranasal zanamivir, 144 received inhaled zanamivir, and 146 received inhaled plus intranasal zanamivir for 5 days. Of 25 subjects (4%) who developed symptomatic influenza during the 5 days of prophylaxis, 9 (36%) were in the placebo group, 8 (32%) were in the intranasal zanamivir group (odds ratio [OR], 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30–2.72; P = .855), 3 (12%) were in the inhaled zanamivir group (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.07–1.05; P = .058), and 5 (20%) were in the inhaled plus intranasal zanamivir group (OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.17–1.58; P = .247). Short-term treatment with intranasal zanamivir was ineffective. However, inhaled zanamivir treatment reduced the rate of influenza, which was 2%–3% among zanamivir recipients versus 6% among placebo recipients. Additional studies assessing a longer duration of postcontact prophylaxis are warranted.

Journal Article.  1771 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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