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New Influenza Drug seems to be Safe and Effective

Update Date: Sep 06, 2014 11:11 AM EDT

A new drug appears to be safe and effective so far in treating influenza symptoms, according to the results from clinical trials. Researchers analyzed the data from phase 2 and phase 3 placebo-controlled clinical trials and found that the single dose treatment worked when given within 48 hour after the symptoms appeared.

In the two trials, the researchers tested the injectable drug, peramivir on a total of 427 adults. The participants were instructed to report the severity of their flu-like symptoms on a four-point scale over the course of two weeks. They also reported their temperatures.

The researchers found that when compared to people who received a placebo injection, peramivir was capable of reducing the median time that it for their symptoms to alleviate by 22 hours and the median time for the fever to resolve by 24 hours. The drug also helped with the amount of nasal viral shedding over the first 48 hours after treatment. Overall, the drug was well tolerated.

"Based on clinical data, peramivir is the first neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) that has shown to be safe and effective as a single-dose therapy for patients with acute, uncomplicated influenza. According to a retrospective combined analysis of two clinical studies, a single dose of peramivir, administered intramuscularly (IM), alleviated flu symptoms, including fever, significantly faster than the studies' placebo arms," stated presenting author Rich Whitley of the University of Alabama at Birmingham according to the press release.

Peramivir was approved in Japan and Korea back in 2010. Roughly an estimated one million Japanese people have been treated with the drug. In the U.S., around 2,700 patients have received the drug in 27 clinical trials.

The study's findings will be presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), which is an infectious disease meeting held by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

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