Changes to NICE influenza treatment guidance

NICE has updated its guidance on the treatment of influenza following a review of the use of amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir.

The revised guidance includes three key changes:

  • The addition of people with chronic liver disease or chronic neurological conditions to the list of ‘at risk' groups.*
  • The recommendation that zanamivir be considered as a treatment option for children aged five to 12 years in ‘at risk' groups provided that influenza is circulating and they can start treatment within 36 hours of first symptoms.
  • The recommendation that oseltamivir and zanamivir are now treatment options for ‘at-risk' people in long-term residential or nursing homes during localised outbreaks (when influenza is not circulating), if there is a high level of certainty that the causative agent is influenza.

*Other at-risk groups defined in the guidance include those with chronic respiratory, heart or renal disease or diabetes mellitus, those aged 65 years or over and those who may be immunosuppressed.

A summary of the new guidance is available at www.mims.co.uk. To read the full guidance visit the NICE website.

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