Flu season generally peaks around January or February. And for those who recognize the symptoms early, there are some very effective treatments.
Researchers are looking at two popular medications, Tamiflu and Relenza--both approved treatments for seasonal Influenza. The drugs reduce the duration of symptoms if given soon after they emerge by limiting the ability of the virus to spread from cell to cell.
In a study released this week by Plos Medicine, authors looked at combining the two drugs--a practice commonly used to avoid drug resistance.
During last year's flu season, more than 400 patients with flu symptoms lasting less than 36 hours were randomly assigned to receive either tamiflu or relenza alone--or a combination of both. Patients were tested
For presence of virus in the nose two days later.
Researchers found that the greatest percentage of those with low levels of virus received tamiflu alone and the average time to alleviation of symptoms was shorter in that group compared to the others--three days for tamiflu
And four for relenza or the combination treatment. And side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, were also more frequent in patients who received the combination treatment.
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