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Health Agencies Update
November 25, 2009

Emergency Influenza Drug

JAMA. 2009;302(20):2194. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1701

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization to allow clinicians to administer the investigational antiviral drug peramivir intravenously to select patients who have been hospitalized with suspected or confirmed cases of 2009 influenza A(H1N1).

The action was taken at the request of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are currently no FDA-approved intravenous therapies for influenza. The authorization allows use of the drug in hospitalized pediatric or adult patients only if the patient is not responding to oral or inhaled antiviral therapy or when nonintravenous drug administration is not feasible or likely to be reliable. It may also be used, but only in adult patients, when a clinician determines that intravenous therapy is appropriate for other reasons.

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