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Study: Swine Flu Combo Drug Treatments

Photo by rodrigo senna via Flickr

Photo by rodrigo senna via Flickr

The flu season has arrived and H1N1 is in full bloom. Everywhere we turn, we hear about someone infected with “swine” flu.  Plus, the CDC is stating that the number of flu related hospitalizations and deaths is higher than normal for this time of year.

Hopefully, you aren’t among those diagnosed with H1N1. If you are though, what should you do?  Well, you should follow your doctor’s instructions of course, but it is always good to understand your treatment options. Currently, there are two antiviral medications that are active against H1N1 and are used to treat those who have been diagnosed with (or are strongly suspected of having) this infection.  They are oseltamivir, known as Tamiflu and zanamivir, known as Relenza.  When used for treating infection, these medications are usually administered twice a day for five days.  They do not immediately relieve symptoms, but usually shorten the duration of symptoms by approximately one day, on average.  Not an amazingly quick cure, but scientists at multiple research facilities are collaborating to find a better drug to treat swine flu strains.

Study:
In fact, a collaboration of researchers from the University of Alabama Birmingham, Adamas Pharmaceuticals, the United States Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, Utah State University in Logan, and the Amsterdam Medical Center in the Netherlands may be coming closer to finding a drug that is more effective in treating H1N1 than what is currently in use.  A triple combo drug, consisting of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), amantadine (Symmetrel) and ribavirin are showing promising results in test tubes for stopping flu virus replication for not only H1N1, but also seasonal flus, H3N2 seasonal flu and H5N1 avian flu.  Plus, it may address the drug resistance H1N1 has to Tamiflu.  Researchers are excited about the laboratory findings and are taking their research to the next level with human studies currently underway.

What does this mean?
This experimental three drug combo may be the ideal antiviral drug that will be used to treat serious flu cases in the future.  That doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to pop a pill and be better the next day.  However, people getting well faster will mean that they will infect less people, so less people will get sick, spend time in hospitals and possibly die.  While the work in the laboratory seems very promising though, only time will tell if if this drug combination is as effective in humans.  We’ll just have to wait and see!

Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham (via ScienceDaily)

Comments (3)

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christopher Gaudette, Christopher Gaudette. Christopher Gaudette said: Study: Swine Flu Combo Drug Treatments: The flu season has arrived and H1N1 is in full bloom. Everywhere we t.. http://bit.ly/2BLQFr […]

  2. Shawn says:

    Some good information here. I’ve always wondered about the flu drugs.

  3. Maria Isabel says:

    This is VERY GOOD information to know about the H1N1 and other influenza shots that could be available soon. I saw information on these new shots in the BVN Dutch Channel News last week. It seems good! Thanks

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