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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Infectious Diseases - Public Health and Epidemiology - Virology

Use of Intravenous Peramivir for Treatment of Severe Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09
Published: Friday, June 29, 2012
Author: Janice K. Louie et al.

by Janice K. Louie, Samuel Yang, Cynthia Yen, Meileen Acosta, Robert Schechter, Timothy M. Uyeki

Oral antiviral agents to treat influenza are challenging to administer in the intensive care unit (ICU). We describe 57 critically ill patients treated with the investigational intravenous neuraminidase inhibitor drug peramivir for influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 [pH1N1]. Most received late peramivir treatment following clinical deterioration in the ICU on enterically-administered oseltamivir therapy. The median age was 40 years (range 5 months-81 years). Common clinical complications included pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring mechanical ventilation (54; 95%), sepsis requiring vasopressor support (34/53; 64%), acute renal failure requiring hemodialysis (19/53; 36%) and secondary bacterial infection (14; 25%). Over half (29; 51%) died. When comparing the 57 peramivir-treated cases with 1627 critically ill cases who did not receive peramivir, peramivir recipients were more likely to be diagnosed with pneumonia/acute respiratory distress syndrome (p?=?0.0002) or sepsis (p?=?<0.0001), require mechanical ventilation (p?=?<0.0001) or die (p?=?<0.0001). The high mortality could be due to the pre-existing clinical severity of cases prior to request for peramivir, but also raises questions about peramivir safety and effectiveness in hospitalized and critically ill patients. The use of peramivir merits further study in randomized controlled trials, or by use of methods such as propensity scoring and matching, to assess clinical effectiveness and safety.
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