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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
February 22, 2006

High Levels of Adamantane Resistance Among Influenza A (H3N2) Viruses and Interim Guidelines for Use of Antiviral Agents—United States, 2005-06 Influenza Season

JAMA. 2006;295(8):881-882. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.881

MMWR. 2006;55:44-46

On January 17, this report was posted as an MMWR Dispatch on the MMWR website (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr).

An estimated 200,000 persons are hospitalized each year and 36,000 persons die from complications of influenza in the United States.1,2 The cornerstone of influenza prevention is annual vaccination. However, antiviral drugs are an important adjunct to vaccination for influenza prevention and control. Two classes of antiviral medications are available currently: adamantanes or M2 ion channel inhibitors (i.e., amantadine and rimantadine) and neuraminidase inhibitors (i.e., oseltamivir and zanamivir). The adamantanes are active against only influenza A viruses and are used for both treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza A, whereas the neuraminidase inhibitors are active against both influenza A and B viruses. Zanamivir is not approved for chemoprophylaxis of influenza in the United States. This report describes new findings regarding the resistance to adamantanes of influenza A viruses currently circulating in the United States and provides interim recommendations that these drugs not be used during the remainder of the 2005-06 influenza season. Amantadine also is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson disease and may continue to be used for this indication.