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  • Amantadine and Rimantadine
  • Flu Nasal Aerosol
  • Flu shot
  • Neuraminidase inhibitors
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Treatments for Prevention and Treatment of Flu in Adults

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Flu shot (vaccine)


Insignificant

Flu prevention in healthy Adults

EVIDENCE | WELL TESTED - 69 studies with 70,000 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS for prevention of symptoms
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. 69 studies conducted, with 70,000 adults. Prevents 1 flu case in 71 vaccinated adults, and 1 influenza-like-illness in 40 vaccinated adults. Does not prevent flu complications. Irritating side effects. Unclear safety.

Flu Nasal Aerosol (vaccine)


Insignificant

Flu prevention in healthy Adults

EVIDENCE | WELL TESTED - 69 studies with 70,000 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS for prevention of symptoms
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu nose spray vaccine with “live” (weakened) viruses. 69 studies conducted, with 70,000 adults. Prevents 1 flu case in 39 vaccinated adults, and 1 influenza-like-illness in 46 vaccinated adults. Does not prevent flu complications. Strong side effects, and riskier than vaccines with “dead” inactivated viruses.

Amantadine and Rimantadine (RX)


Mixed

Flu prevention in healthy Adults

EVIDENCE | WELL TESTED - 21 studies with 25,783 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Prevention of influenza A with Amantadine and Rimantadine. This treatment has been replaced by neuraminidase inhibitors and is no longer used in the USA. 21 studies conducted, with 25,783 adults. Prevents 25% of influenza-like-illness in and over 60% of confirmed flu type A infections during influenza A epidemic outbreaks. Unknown impact in flu complications. Both drugs have irritating stomach and gut effects, while Amantadine may also impair the nervous system and lead to psychiatric symptoms.

Amantadine and Rimantadine (RX)


Mixed

Flu treatment in Adults with Flu

EVIDENCE | REASONABLY TESTED - 13 studies with 1,151 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS for fever
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Treatment of Influenza A with Amantadine and Rimantadine. This treatment has been replaced by neuraminidase inhibitors and is no longer used in the USA. 13 studies conducted, with 1,151 adults. Shortened the duration of fever by about one day. Unknown impact on complications. Both drugs have irritating stomach and gut effects, while Amantadine may also impair the nervous system and lead to psychiatric symptoms.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Ineffective

Flu prevention in pregnant Adults

EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING - 1 study with 2,116 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | INEFFECTIVE
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. 1 study conducted, with 2,116 pregnant women. Does not seem to flu prevent symptoms and does not prevent flu complications (for mothers and for their babies). Irritating side effects. Unclear safety.

Neuraminidase inhibitors (RX)


Unclear

Flu treatment in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis with Flu

EVIDENCE | NOT TESTED
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Treatment with Neuraminidase inhibitors (e.g. zanamivir, oseltamivir). No studies conducted, and therefore no data exists on benefits. Seems safe for Oseltamivir. Mild known side effects, including vomiting. Zanamivir may evoke asthma attacks and is risky for adults with Cystic Fibrosis.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Unclear

Flu prevention in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis

EVIDENCE | POORLY TESTED - 2 studies with 36 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | UNCLEAR SAFETY
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. 2 studies conducted, with 36 adults. Unclear benefits. Irritating side effects and unclear safety.

Flu Nasal Aerosol (vaccine)


Unclear

Flu prevention in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis

EVIDENCE | POORLY TESTED - 2 studies with 36 adults
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | UNCLEAR SAFETY
Flu nose spray vaccine with “live” (weakened) viruses. 2 studies conducted, with 36 adults. Unclear benefits. Irritating side effects and unclear safety. Riskier than flu vaccines with “dead” inactivated viruses.

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Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks. (source)
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