Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Flu drugs relatively safe for pregnant, breastfeeding women, should be used: study

From the Canadian Press:
The antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza are relatively safe for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women, say the authors of review of data that includes previously unpublished evidence.

The analysis, published electronically on Monday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggested Tamiflu is the best bet for pregnant women, but either drug can be used safely by breastfeeding women who come down with influenza.

The review may assuage concerns of women who contract swine flu and are worried about whether or not to use antiviral drugs. Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications than their non-pregnant peers when they catch seasonal flu. Evidence from some previous pandemics suggests they can be hit disproportionately hard by a strain of pandemic influenza.

"During the current pandemic, we shouldn't hesitate to treat those patients at increased risk," said senior author Dr. Shinya Ito, head of the division of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. ...more

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