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September 12, 1977

Amantadine for Influenza

Author Affiliations

Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1150. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120042011

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To the Editor.—  Although there is certainly a case to be made for the consideration of amantadine as a chemoprophylactic agent, perhaps even a therapeutic agent, in influenza type A virus infections, the commentary by Chanin has some misleading implications.First of all, Chanin recommends a drug dosage that is one half that of the licensed product, yet he presents no data to substantiate the efficacy of his reduced dosage schedule. Secondly, in discussing the effects of influenza vaccine on the pulmonary function of patients with chronic lung disease, he alludes to studies with experimental live influenza virus vaccines but fails to differentiate for the reader that this was an investigative vaccine totally different from the licensed, inactivated vaccines that are used in prophylaxis. This confusion is further compounded by his comment that the immunization leads to adverse effects in the high-risk patient. Finally, he restates the old complaint that