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  • Amantadine and Rimantadine
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Influenza infection
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Treatments for Prevention and Treatment of Influenza infection in All Ages

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Flu shot (vaccine)


Insignificant

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Children

EVIDENCE | WELL TESTED - 75 studies with 300,000 children
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS for prevention of symptoms
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. 75 studies conducted, with 300,000 children. Prevents 1 flu case in 28 vaccinated children, and 1 influenza-like-illness in 8 vaccinated children. Doesn't prevent flu complications. irritating side effects. Unclear safety.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Insignificant

Influenza infection 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

Influenza infection 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.

High Dose Flu shot (vaccine)


Insignificant

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Seniors

EVIDENCE | REASONABLY TESTED - 7 studies with 41,141 seniors
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS for prevention of symptoms
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with high-dose “dead” inactivated viruses. 7 studies conducted, with 41,141 adults. Prevents 1 additional flu case in 200 high-dose vaccinated seniors when compared to regular dose vaccines. Prevention of complications is unclear. irritating side effects. Unclear safety.

Flu Nasal Aerosol (vaccine)


Mixed

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Children

EVIDENCE | WELL TESTED - 75 studies with 300,000 children
EFFECTIVENESS | EFFECTIVE for prevention of symptoms
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Flu nose spray vaccine with “live” (weakened) viruses. 75 studies conducted, with 300,000 children. Prevents 1 flu case in 6 vaccinated children, and 1 influenza-like-illness in 12 vaccinated children. Does not prevent flu complications. Strong side effects. Known serious harms.

Neuraminidase inhibitors (RX)


Mixed

Influenza infection treatment in Children with Flu

EVIDENCE | REASONABLY TESTED - 6 studies with 2,356 children
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Treatment with Neuraminidase inhibitors (e.g. zanamivir, oseltamivir). 6 studies conducted, with 2,356 children. Shortens the duration of the Flu symptoms by 1 day on average, and may reduce ear infections. Impact on other complications remains unclear. Mild side effects, including vomiting.

Neuraminidase inhibitors (RX)


Mixed

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Children

EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING - 3 studies with 863 children
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS for prevention of symptoms
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Preventive treatment with Neuraminidase inhibitors (e.g. zanamivir, oseltamivir). 3 studies conducted, with 863 children. Prevents 1 case of influenza transmission when given to 12 children in households were a member already has the Flu. Mild side effects, including vomiting.

Amantadine and Rimantadine (RX)


Mixed

Influenza infection 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

Influenza infection 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.

Amantadine and Rimantadine (RX)


Mixed

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Children

EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING - 5 studies with 1,007 children
EFFECTIVENESS | MILD BENEFITS
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Prevention of influenza A with Amantadine and Rimantadine. 5 studies conducted, with 1,007 children. Amantadine prevents 5.88% of confirmed flu type A infections during influenza A epidemic outbreaks, while Rimantadine is ineffective. The impact of both on complications is unclear. 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

Influenza infection treatment in Children with Flu

EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING - 3 studies with 382 children
EFFECTIVENESS | NEGLIGIBLE BENEFITS for fever
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Treatment of Influenza A with Amantadine and Rimantadine. 3 studies conducted, with 382 children. Reduces the fever on the 3rd day of treatment for 1 in 6 treated children, and ineffective for other symptoms. 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

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Toddlers

EVIDENCE | POORLY TESTED - 1 study with 768 toddlers
EFFECTIVENESS | INEFFECTIVE
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. Only 1 study (clinical trial) conducted, with 786 toddlers. Does not prevent flu symptoms. irritating side effects. Unclear safety.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Ineffective

Influenza infection 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.

Flu Nasal Aerosol (vaccine)


Damaging

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Toddlers

EVIDENCE | NOT TESTED
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Flu nose spray vaccine with “live” (weakened) viruses. No valid studies conducted, probably since it is regarded as too risky for toddlers. Therefore, no data exists on benefits. High risk potential. Known serious harms.

Flu Nasal Aerosol (vaccine)


Damaging

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Seniors

EVIDENCE | NOT TESTED
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Flu nose spray vaccine with “live” (weakened) viruses. Not tested with seniors, since it is considered risky. Therefore no data about benefits or risks exists. High risk potential.

Amantadine and Rimantadine (RX)


Damaging

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Seniors

EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING - 4 studies with 838 seniors
EFFECTIVENESS | INEFFECTIVE
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. 4 studies conducted, with 838 seniors. Ineffective in prevention of flu type A infections. Both drugs have irritating stomach and gut effects, while Amantadine may also impair the nervous system and lead to psychiatric symptoms.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Unclear

Influenza infection prevention in healthy Seniors

EVIDENCE | POORLY TESTED - 1 study with 1,348 seniors
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. Only 1 valid study conducted on benefits and risks, with 1,348 seniors. More research needed. May prevent symptoms, but does not prevent flu complications. Strong side effects.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Unclear

Influenza infection prevention in Children with Cancer

EVIDENCE | NEEDS MORE TESTING - 10 studies with 770 children
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | MILD RISKS
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses in children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. 10 studies conducted, with 770 children. Generates a relatively mild immune response during chemotherapy. Prevention of flu symptoms and complications is unknown and was not measured. Mild side effects.

Neuraminidase inhibitors (RX)


Unclear

Influenza infection treatment in Children 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 children with Cystic Fibrosis.

Neuraminidase inhibitors (RX)


Unclear

Influenza infection 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.

Amantadine and Rimantadine (RX)


Unclear

Influenza infection treatment in Seniors with Flu

EVIDENCE | NOT TESTED
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Treatment of Influenza A with Amantadine and Rimantadine. This treatment has been replaced by neuraminidase inhibitors and is no longer used in the USA. No valid studies conducted. Therefore, no data exists on benefits. Both drugs have irritating stomach and gut effects, while Amantadine may also impair the nervous system and lead to psychiatric symptoms.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Unclear

Influenza infection prevention in Children with Cystic Fibrosis

EVIDENCE | POORLY TESTED - 4 studies with 143 children
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | UNCLEAR SAFETY
Flu shot vaccine with “dead” inactivated viruses. 4 studies conducted, with 143 children. Unclear benefits. Irritating side effects and unclear safety.

Flu Nasal Aerosol (vaccine)


Unclear

Influenza infection prevention in Children with Cystic Fibrosis

EVIDENCE | POORLY TESTED - 2 studies with 60 children
EFFECTIVENESS | UNCLEAR
SAFETY | DANGEROUS
Flu nose spray vaccine with “live” (weakened) viruses. 2 studies conducted, with 60 children. Unclear benefits. Strong side effects. Known serious harms.

Flu shot (vaccine)


Unclear

Influenza infection 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

Influenza infection 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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