New results from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicate that Tamiflu, a mainstay of our limited array of antiviral agents that combat influenza virus, is largely ineffective for most of the viral strains that have appeared in the US. There appears to remain reasonable impact from Relenza (zanamivir), an inhaled medication, or amantadine, an older oral medication.
We test patients for influenza in the winter with an in-office swab test. We will use Relenza or amantadine or both if you have a serious respiratory illness and test positive for influenza A virus.
Most important, most of you have already had this year’s influenza immunization, which remains the most effective treatment of all.