How to Treat Influenza in Children Aged 1-12 Years
Tamiflu significantly reduced flu duration by 36 hours (26%) compared with placebo in children aged 1 through 12 years.8
TAMIFLU is indicated for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated illness due to influenza infection in patients 2 weeks of age and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 2 days.
About the study
- Tamiflu significantly reduced flu duration by 26% (36 hours) vs placebo (P<0.0001).8
- Tamiflu reduced median duration of fever by 25 hours.8
Results are from a double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment trial conducted in 698 pediatric subjects aged 1 to 12 years. All included patients had fever (>100°F) plus 1 respiratory symptom (cough or coryza), and 452 were influenza-infected. Study participants received Tamiflu 2 mg/kg twice daily or placebo within 2 days of symptom onset. The primary efficacy end point was time to freedom from illness, a composite end point that required 4 individual conditions be met: alleviation of cough, alleviation of coryza, resolution of fever, and parental opinion of a return to normal health and activity.
Limitations of Use
The following points should be considered before initiating treatment with Tamiflu:
- Efficacy of Tamiflu in patients who begin treatment after 48 hours of symptoms has not been established.1
- Tamiflu is not a substitute for early influenza vaccination on an annual basis as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.12, 13, 18
- There is no evidence for efficacy of Tamiflu in any illness caused by agents other than influenza virus Types A and B.1
- Influenza viruses change over time. Emergence of resistant mutations could decrease drug effectiveness. Other factors (for example, changes in viral virulence) might also diminish clinical benefit of antiviral drugs. Prescribers should consider available information on influenza drug susceptibility patterns and treatment effects when deciding whether to use Tamiflu.13
- Influenza can be associated with a variety of neurologic and behavioral symptoms which can include events
such as hallucinations, delirium, and abnormal behavior, in some cases resulting in fatal outcomes. These events
may occur in the setting of encephalitis or encephalopathy but can occur without obvious severe disease.
There have been postmarketing reports (mostly from Japan) of delirium and abnormal behavior leading to
injury, and in some cases resulting in fatal outcomes, in patients with influenza who were receiving Tamiflu.
Because these events were reported voluntarily during clinical practice, estimates of frequency cannot be made
but they appear to be uncommon based on Tamiflu usage data. These events were reported primarily among
pediatric patients and often had an abrupt onset and rapid resolution. The contribution of Tamiflu to these
events has not been established. Closely monitor patients with influenza for signs of abnormal behavior. If
neuropsychiatric symptoms occur, evaluate the risks and benefits of continuing treatment for each patient.1
Important Safety Information
People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior early during their illness. These events may occur shortly after beginning Tamiflu or may occur when flu is not treated. These events are uncommon but may result in accidental injury to the patient. Therefore, patients should be observed for signs of unusual behavior and a healthcare professional should be contacted immediately if the patient shows any signs of unusual behavior.1
Please see the Tamiflu full Prescribing Information for complete safety information.
Next Step: Learn about prescribing Tamiflu for prophylaxis in pediatric patients ›
Did you know?
In a clinical study, Tamiflu prophylaxis reduced postexposure flu transmission in children aged 1-12 years by 82%.23