Seasonal Influenza

Treatment of Inpatients (Adult)

Treatment can shorten the duration of symptoms and may reduce the risk of complications from influenza.

Benefit is greatest when treatment is started early, especially within 48 hours of illness onset.

Antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza and meets any of the criteria below.

  • Hospitalized patients

  • Severe, complicated or progressive illness

  • 65 years of age

  • < 19 years of age and on long-term aspirin therapy

  • Chronic medical conditions or immunosuppressed (transplant population, HIV-infected)

  • Pregnant women, Native American/Alaskan Natives

  • Morbidly obese patients with BMI ≥40

Decisions about starting treatment should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza

Consideration can be given to treating immunocompromised patients who are outside the 48 hour window, although no data exist to show significant benefit.

Antiviral recommendation for the 2016 influenza season is oral oseltamivir (Tamiflu)

The recommended duration of antiviral treatment is 5 days. Treatment does not need to continue until symptoms resolve, as some symptoms, such as fatigue and cough, may persist for weeks.