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Paucis Verbis: Influenza - To treat or not to treat?

Posted Oct 28 2011 12:00am

It's coming.
Influenza season is almost upon us.

Influenza season typically peaks in the United States during the Jan-Feb months and can start as early as October. You can read about the 2011-12 seasonal flu data on the CDC website .

Should you give a patient with influenza an antiviral agent or just provide supportive therapy?

This Paucis Verbis card summaries the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for this upcoming 2011-12 influenza season. I also let patients with uncomplicated influenza who are going to be managed as outpatients know that a 5-day course of osteltamivir or zanamivir will cost them about $50-80. Often that sways them towards declining a prescription and "toughing out" an extra day of the flu.

You can download this PV card:  [ MS Word ] [ PDF ] See  other Paucis Verbis cards .
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infectious disease. Antiviral agents for the treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza. Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Sep;58(3):299-303; discussion 303-4.

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