Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Rubbish piling up in France's illegal landfills

Read more

ENCORE!

Join our summer solstice music celebration

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Allez les Bleus! Exploring France's love of football

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Burger King pulls ad offering burgers for women impregnated by World Cup stars

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Outcry over migrant family separations in US

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Turkey's crackdown: 'This is unprecedented on many levels'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Clocking out: South Korea prepares for shorter working week

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Boeing sales chief: 'We depend on China'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Eritrea to send delegation to Ethiopia for peace talks

Read more

Europe

Antiviral side effects may outweigh benefits for children

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