Antivirals for children with influenza: Current evidence
03 June 2012
30 July 2012
28 July 2015 (online)
The global burden of influenza virus infection is considerable, especially in young children, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Young children are at greatest risk of requiring hospital admission with influenza virus infection.
Effective antiviral treatment and prophylaxis strategies are available. Adamantanes, neuraminidase inhibitors and ribavirin all have antiviral activity. The neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir are most frequently prescribed. Neuraminidase inhibitors reduce length of illness and severity and are generally well tolerated. Antiviral resistance is increasing globally.
Antiviral resistance can occur de novo or following antiviral exposure. The incidence varies significantly between different drug classes and influenza strains. Despite increasing concern, most circulating influenza viruses remain sensitive to neuraminidase inhibitors.