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Currently, there are four drugs available to treat the flu: oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), rimantadine (Flumadine), and amantadine (Symmetrel).
Rimantadine and amantadine (the adamantane drugs) are only effective against influenza A. Due to the development of drug resistance among influenza A viruses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised against the use of these two drugs. Oseltamivir and zanamivir (the neuraminidase inhibitors) are effective against influenza A and B, but, like the adamantanes, must be taken within 48 hours of infection to be effective.
NIAID supports research on influenza therapeutics to develop new drugs, determine effective drug combinations, and examine the mechanisms behind emerging drug resistance. This includes the support of innovative technologies used to design drugs that target specific viral proteins and cellular processes.
Last Updated June 15, 2010