Methodology: 3/5
Usefulness: 3/5

Butler CC, et al. Lancet. 2020 Jan 4;395(10217):42-52.

Editorial: Neuraminidase inhibitors for influenza-like illness in primary care.

Question and Methods: This was a pragmatic randomised controlled trial of 3266 patients, where patients were randomised to either usual care or usual care with oseltamivir.

Findings: Symptom duration decreased by 1.02 days; in older patients, more severe illness, or longer illness duration, it was 2.30-3.20 days.  This, even in influenza negative patients.

Limitations: The major limitations were that it was an open-label study and overall vaccination rates were low.

Interpretation: Oseltamivir can improve duration to resolution of symptoms, with a greater absolute benefit in higher risk groups like elderly patients, more severe illness, or longer duration of symptoms.

By: Dr. Mark McKinney

Hans Rosenberg
Dr. Rosenberg is an emergency physician at the Ottawa Hospital, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, and Director of the Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination Program.