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Impact of oseltamivir use on the reduction of complications in patients with influenza: a prospective study

Vardakas, Konstantinos Z., Theocharis, George, Tansarli, Giannoula S., Rafailidis, Petros, Falagas, Matthew E.
Archives of virology 2016 v.161 no.9 pp. 2511-2518
adults, bronchitis, diabetes, diagnostic techniques, influenza, multivariate analysis, oseltamivir, patients, physicians, pneumonia, prospective studies, Greece
To evaluate the factors associated with oseltamivir prescription and to study the effectiveness of oseltamivir in reducing influenza-related complications. A prospective cohort study using the SOS Doctors (a network of physicians who perform house-call visits in Attica, Greece). Patients with confirmed or clinically suspected influenza were followed up to 14 days during the 2011-2012 influenza period. 410 patients with confirmed or suspected influenza were included. Healthy adults were mainly enrolled, with a median age of 44 years. Influenza diagnosis was mainly based on clinical criteria (65.8 % of patients). Oseltamivir was prescribed for 45.4 % of them. In a multivariate analysis, prescription of oseltamivir was associated with the attending physician (p < 0.001), positive influenza test (p < 0.001) and diabetes (p = 0.027). Data on complications were available for 351 patients, and 50 (15.8 %) of them reported at least one. Seven patients required hospitalization. Types of complications (pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.) were not significantly different between patients receiving and those not receiving oseltamivir. In the multivariate analysis, higher oseltamivir prescription rate was associated with fewer complications (p < 0.001). Bearing in mind the limitations of a non-randomized study, in a real-life setting, oseltamivir prescription and the rate of complications in patients with influenza were associated with the attending physician, underlying diseases and diagnostic tests. Overall, when the frequency of oseltamivir prescription increased, the influenza-related complications decreased.