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February 4, 1974

Amantadine for Influenza In General Practice

Author Affiliations

Lawndale, Calif

JAMA. 1974;227(5):560. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230180058033

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To the Editor.—  Since the appearance of the article by Togo et al (211:1149, 1970), I have used amantadine in the treatment of clinical influenza syndromes with excellent results. Amantadine, available in the United States since 1966, is approved for use in the prophylaxis of A-2 influenza infections and has been found effective. The authors of the article used a double-blind technique to evaluate not the prophylaxis but the actual treatment of A-2 influenza after symptoms appeared.Despite the recurrence of significant influenza outbreaks in the United States, amantadine is still used by few physicians in general medical practice, where it would seem to be most efficacious. The rationalization for the use of antibiotics is that they cover any supposed "secondary infection" that might be present. When no other treatment is available, antibiotics make the patient happy.Not only are antibiotics ineffective in uncomplicated influenza; they do not relieve symptoms