Tamiflu may not prevent flu complications

Throughout the world, governments have stockpiled influenza drug Tamiflu in an effort to address the global H1N1 flu pandemic, spending billions in the process. Now, a new study suggests that the drug may not prevent pneumonia or other complications in otherwise healthy patients who contract the flu.

Authors examined the performance of the drug, oseltamivir, by analyzing 20 published clinical trials of Tamiflu. Researchers found that the studies, which looked at prevention, treatment and adverse reactions, showed a "paucity of good data" from either trial authors or drugmaker Roche.

Because data was scarce, the authors concluded, they had "no confidence" in claims that the drug could reduce flu complications. The researchers concluded that the drug should not be used in routine control of seasonal flu outbreaks.

The World Health Organization, for its part, has said that data gathered internationally suggests that Tamiflu can reduce H1N1 symptoms when given early.

To find out more about the study:
- read this HealthDay News piece

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