Murmurs is a daily blog of
consumer-related news, thoughts and
missives that cross the minds and desks
of the CBC News: Marketplace staff...
One less drug useful against flu, Ottawa says
January 16, 2006
Worth repeating from CBC
Health and Science News:
In the depths of the flu season, federal health officials say a drug used to combat outbreaks in old-age homes and other institutions has lost its power against common flu germs.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that
doctors stop prescribing amantadine to treat or prevent influenza.
It suggests using Tamiflu or Relenza instead.
The health agency's weekend
announcement is unrelated to the much-discussed
threat of a bird flu pandemic. Scientists
worry that a deadly strain of avian flu
will mutate and spread more easily.
The public health agency's
announcement deals with a flu virus already
common among humans but seldom fatal to
those in good health.
The agency's lab in Winnipeg
tested 47 samples of H3N2 virus collected
in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan
and Ontario since September and found that
43 – or 91 per cent – were
resistant to amantadine.
The announcement followed
a similar warning on Friday from the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control. Amantadine
is also used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's
disease and should continue to be used
for that purpose, the CDC said.
The Canadian agency said
people who had this year's flu shot are
protected against the drug-resistant germs.
"The results are an important
reminder that antiviral medications – which
don't provide immunity – should not
replace annual influenza immunization," it
Health & Science News
CBC Indepth: Faint
Warning: How Canada tracks
related murmurs: Chest
doctors discourage use of most cough
cold remedies backed with evidence, Ginseng-loaded ‘Cold-fX’ cuts frequency of common cold:
explain why bundling up may prevent colds, Drugs
killing thousands of seniors yearly
related Marketplace story: Out in the Cold
tags: consumers consumer news consumerism medicine health flu Tamiflu drug testing
Tessa | 11:42
AM (ET) | Permalink