Antiviral medicines for pandemic influenza

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Antiviral medicines play an important role in the management of an influenza pandemic. Unlike vaccines, which may not be available during the early stages of a pandemic, antiviral medicines can be used for the treatment of infected patients from the onset of the pandemic.

There are currently two classes of antiviral medicines that are intended for use in case of an influenza pandemic.

Neuraminidase inhibitors

These medicines include:

  • Tamiflu (oseltamivir), which was authorised by the European Commission on 20 June 2002 for use in all European Union Member States;
  • Relenza (zanamivir), which is authorised on a national level by all EU Member States.

M2 inhibitors

These medicines include:

  • amantadine;
  • rimantadine.

These medicines are authorised on a national level.

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