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  1. #1
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    Default CDC: Two influenza drugs don't work

    CDC: Two influenza drugs don't work

    Doctors asked to stop prescribing amantadine and rimantadine



    ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- With flu season reaching its peak, two drugs typically prescribed to fight the virus will be ineffective this season and should not be prescribed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Saturday.
    The CDC found in tests that the antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine were ineffective 91 percent of the time against H3N2 influenza, the dominant strain this season.
    However, two other antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza are still effective, said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. Amantadine and rimantadine are older, less-expensive and less commonly prescribed drugs.
    There has been a global trend toward drug resistance, but Gerberding said health officials didn't expect the resistance "to be quite as dramatic so soon." "We don't know exactly why resistance has risen to these drugs," Gerberding said, adding that the flu virus may have mutated, but there is no evidence to support that. "Flu constantly evolves, and we are always one mutation away from drug resistance."
    There is no "magic bullet" to prevent drugs from becoming ineffective against certain flu strains, she said.
    There is plenty of Tamiflu and Relenza for this flu season because the CDC stockpiled the drugs in case of an influenza pandemic, Gerberding said.
    The flu is widespread in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oregon and Colorado.
    The season, which can begin as early as October and stretch into May, typically is most widespread in December, January and February.
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  2. #2
    FYI - Ranitidine and amantadine are only successful in treating one strain of the flu...this is not new information. Dr's who prescribe these drugs usually do a strain-specific rapid diagnostic test, to be sure these will have an effect.

    The bottom line reason is cost - tamilfu costs $65-$100 per treatment, while the two drugs mentioned above cost between $3-$15 - a huge difference if less fortunate people are paying out of pocket for treatment.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jujutsuka
    FYI - Ranitidine and amantadine are only successful in treating one strain of the flu...this is not new information. Dr's who prescribe these drugs usually do a strain-specific rapid diagnostic test, to be sure these will have an effect.

    The bottom line reason is cost - tamilfu costs $65-$100 per treatment, while the two drugs mentioned above cost between $3-$15 - a huge difference if less fortunate people are paying out of pocket for treatment.
    Ranitidine is the generic form of Zantac, an anti-acid medicine. Just FYI. Whoopsie on your spelling. I think you meant rimantadine

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