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Influenza – To treat or not to treat?

Emergency medicine

R&R Hot Stuff

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infectious disease. Antiviral agents for the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza. Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Sep;58(3):299-303; discussion 303-4. PMID: 21871233

  • Aaa-choo! Influenza season is coming (in the northern hemisphere!). The IDSA 2011 guidelines on antiviral agents and treatment indications for the 2011-12 season.
  • Recommended by: ML
  • Learn more: Paucis Verbis – Influenza – to treat or not to treat?

It’s coming. Influenza season is almost upon us.

Influenza season typically peaks in the United States during the Jan-Feb months and can start as early as October. You can read about the 2011-12 seasonal flu data on the CDC website.

Should you give a patient with influenza an antiviral agent or just provide supportive therapy?

This Paucis Verbis card summaries the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for this upcoming 2011-12 influenza season. I also let patients with uncomplicated influenza who are going to be managed as outpatients know that a 5-day course of osteltamivir or zanamivir will cost them about $50-80. Often that sways them towards declining a prescription and “toughing out” an extra day of the flu.

1. Centers for. Infectious disease. Antiviral agents for the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza. Ann Emerg Med. 2011;58(3):299-303; discussion 303-4. [PubMed]