Tamiflu & Relenza: how effective are they?
- 10 April 2014
The British Medical Journal and Cochrane call on government and health policy decision makers to review guidance on use of Tamiflu in light of most recent evidence.
Tamiflu (the antiviral drug oseltamivir) shortens symptoms of influenza by half a day, but there is no good evidence to support claims that it reduces admissions to hospital or complications of influenza. This is according to the updated Cochrane evidence review, published today by The Cochrane Collaboration, the independent, global healthcare research network, and the BMJ. Evidence from treatment trials confirms increased risk of suffering from nausea and vomiting. And when Tamiflu was used in prevention trials, there was an increased risk of headaches, psychiatric disturbances, and renal events. Although when used as a preventative treatment, the drug can reduce the risk of people suffering symptomatic influenza, it is unproven that it can stop people carrying the influenza virus and spreading it to others.
Read related blog post Tamiflu: an analysis of all the data