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Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(4):635-636

to the editor: Since the article “Updated Treatment for Influenza A and B”1 was accepted for publication, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two new indications for oseltamivir (Tamiflu).2 The FDA previously approved labeling for oseltamivir only for the treatment of uncomplicated influenza in adults.

The first new indication is the use of oseltamivir in the prevention of influenza in patients 13 years and older. Prophylactic treatment should be initiated within 48 hours of contact with an infected person. The recommended oral dose is 75 mg once daily for at least seven days, but it may be used for up to six weeks.

The second new indication is the treatment of acute illness from uncomplicated influenza in children one year or older who have been symptomatic for no longer than two days.3,4 As with adults, treatment should be initiated within 48 hours of symptom onset. Twice daily dosing is based on body weight, and the drug will be supplied as a “tutti-frutti-tasting” suspension (12 mg per mL). The duration of treatment is five days.3,4 The pediatric suspension formulation was expected to be released in mid-January. Adults who have difficulty swallowing capsules may also prefer the suspension.

Readers should note these important new changes since publication of our article.1

Dr. Montalto receives an honorarium and is a member of the Speakers Bureau for Roche Laboratories and Glaxo Wellcome Inc.

editor's note: An updated text and table are available at www.aafp.org.

Email letter submissions to afplet@aafp.org. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors. Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Letters may be edited to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, deputy editor.

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