Flu antiviral prescribing approved by DoH

Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) can now be prescribed by GPs at NHS expense for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza, the DoH has advised.

Oseltamivir and zanamivir both inhibit neuraminidase, inhibiting the release of influenza virions from epithelial cells in the respiratory tract | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oseltamivir and zanamivir both inhibit neuraminidase, inhibiting the release of influenza virions from epithelial cells in the respiratory tract | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Current flu levels are higher than the peak activity for the past three seasons and may still be rising, according to official data from Public Health England.

Patients in at-risk groups should continue to be given the flu vaccine as they are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell from the infection.

Prescribers are reminded to endorse all prescriptions for oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) with 'SLS'.

Further information: Chief Medical Officer's letter on the use of antivirals

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