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.

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