[Skip to Navigation]
July 1986

Effectiveness of Rimantadine Prophylaxis of Children Within Families

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Family Medicine, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City (Drs Clover, Crawford, Abell, and Ramsey), and the Influenza Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston (Drs Glezen and Couch).

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(7):706-709. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140210104036

• With recent studies suggesting that children are the main introducers of influenza infections into families, we conducted a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial to study the prophylactic effectiveness of rimantadine hydrochloride in children on the transmission of influenza A infections within families. One hundred forty-five volunteers from 35 families completed this study during a naturally occurring outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) infection. Influenza infections, defined as a positive viral throat culture or a fourfold increase in antibody titer, occurred in 31.7% of children in the placebo group and 2.9% of children in the rimantadine group. Clinical illness with laboratory evidence of influenza infection occurred in 17.0% of children in the placebo group and 0% of children in the rimantadine group. Rimantadine was well tolerated by the children, with no significant difference in reported side effects between the placebo and rimantadine groups. Influenza A infection occurred in 19.0% of adults whose children were receiving a placebo and 8.8% of adults whose children were receiving rimantadine. On the basis of our study, rimantadine prophylaxis of children appears to be an effective method to prevent influenza A infection in children. Additional studies are needed to demonstrate the effects of rimantadine prophylaxis of children on the incidence of influenza A infection in their parents.

(AJDC 1986;140:706-709)