Antivirals

Effect Measure

Category archives for Antivirals

A new front line drug for flu in the offing?

This week the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published a paper about a new antiviral drug that fully protected mice against virulent bird flu virus (H5N1). I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to papers announcing new flu antivirals that work in animals. It’s a long way from there to use…

Prolonged shedding of swine flu virus

Red wine has been touted for its health benefits but these don’t seem to extend to warding off swine flu. The virology laboratory in Bordeaux in the southwest of France tested via RT-PCR over 1200 nasopharyngeal swabs between May 1 and the first week in October and found 186 positive for the new pandemic strain.…

The Tamiflu doesn’t work non-story

The other day the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a clutch of articles about whether Tamiflu was as useful a drug as some have touted. I read the main article, another one of the Cochrane Collaborative meta-analyses of the studies they deem useful about any particular subject, and it didn’t seem to make much news.…

Frequent readers here know we are fascinated with the similarities between computer viruses and real viruses. Both use their unwittingly infected hosts (computers or host cells) to make copies of themselves and in the process can cause varying degrees of sickness. It’s hard to give any solid criteria which will differentiate one as qualitatively different…

It seems swine flu is full of surprises that turn out not to be surprises. Or so it’s claimed. Or not. Here is CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat, the agency’s chief health officer and spokesperson on swine flu, responding to NPR’s Melissa Block’s question about what has been her biggest surprise:

When to use antivirals for swine flu

We’ve gotten the question here fairly frequently: If antivirals (Tamiflu, Relenza) for swine flu work best when given early but shouldn’t be given to people who aren’t really that sick, how do you balance waiting for them to get sick and have the drugs not work well with giving it when you don’t need to?…

There is no way to keep up with all the flu news, so we pick and choose, usually based on some kind of point we want to make. That’s both the good and the bad of this blog: the news comes with a point of view. But so does most news, and we try to…

Yesterday (today as I am writing this) the British Medical Journal published another Cochrane meta-analysis on the efficacy of neurimminidase inhibitor antivirals (the only two in use now, being oseltamivir [Tamiflu] and zanimivir [Relenza]). Their conclusions have made the news, so I guess I should cast my baleful eye on their handiwork. I think there…

Tamiflu resistance puzzle

There have been three reported oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistant isolates of H1N1 swine flu (added: and now a fourth in Canada) but with those exceptions all others have been sensitive to this oral antiviral. This is in marked contrast to the other H1N1 strain, the seasonal variety which is almost entirely resistant. The spread of Tamiflu…

Tamiflu and adverse effects

For reasons not revealed to anyone I know, WHO is saying the Tamiflu resistance in a Danish swine flu isolate is “isolated case.” Could be, but I’d sure like to know why they think so, other than they don’t have any other examples. Meanwhile WHO and CDC continue to advise prompt use of Tamiflu (oral…