Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzanian President dismisses almost 10,000 public servants over forged college certificates

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French Election: Abstention, Anger & Apathy

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Macron vs. Le Pen: France's bitter presidential run-off race (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump's First 100 Days, The Pope in Egypt (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Egypt's Coptic Christians targeted by Islamic State group

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

France's wartime past takes centre stage in presidential campaign

Read more

#TECH 24

How one NGO is using 3D printers to improve disaster relief

Read more

REVISITED

What remains of Nicaragua’s revolution?

Read more

Europe

Antiviral side effects may outweigh benefits for children

Video by FRANCE 24 , FRANCE 2 , Luke SHRAGO , Rachel MARUSAK

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-11

Children should not routinely be given flu drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza to prevent A(H1N1) since there is no clear evidence that they prevent complications, British researchers say, adding that potential side effects may outweigh the benefits.

Reuters - Children should not routinely be given flu drugs like Tamiflu since there is no clear evidence they prevent complications and potentially harmful side effects may outweigh any benefits, British researchers said on Monday.

 

"While morbidity and mortality in the current pandemic remain low, a more conservative strategy might be considered prudent, given the limited data, side effects such as vomiting, and the potential for developing resistant strains of influenza," they said.

 

Governments around the world have built up stockpiles of Roche's Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza to deal with the current H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

 

In Britain, hundreds of thousands of doses of Tamiflu have been handed out to people with the disease, of whom around half are children.

 

But Matthew Thompson from the University of Oxford and colleagues reported in the British Medical Journal that while antivirals shortened the duration of flu in children by around a day, they didn't reduce asthma flare-ups or the likelihood of children needing antibiotics.

 

Tamiflu was also linked to an increased risk of vomiting, which can be serious in children.

 

The analysis was based on a systematic review of seven previous clinical studies looking at use of Tamiflu and Relenza in seasonal flu outbreaks in children aged 1 to 12 years.

 

Thompson told reporters there was no reason to think the conclusions would not also apply to the current relatively mild outbreak of swine flu.

 

Date created : 2009-08-10

COMMENT(S)