What Antibiotics Will Work Against Swine Flu?
The most universal treatment for swine flu is the oral prescription antiviral medication known generically as oseltamivir and commercially as Tamiflu. There is also zanamivir, a product that can be inhaled rather than swallowed. The tricky thing with Tamiflu or oseltamivir is that its two main side effects, nausea and vomiting, are also two of the main symptoms of the disease being treated. However, by taking the medication in combination with food, the exacerbation of these symptoms can be minimized.
A third antibiotic treatment for the swine flu, peramivir, has been in testing since the fall of 2009. Exceptionally, the Food and Drug Administration still allowed the drug to be used at that time in cases where patients with the swine flu had been hospitalized. Special FDA dispensations allowed doctors to administer the experimental drug to patients intravenously. Despite the fact that the swine flu pandemic was declared over by the World Health Organization in June 2010, a number of regions around the world continued after that date to struggle with the outbreak. In New Zealand for example, some 30 people by the summer had been admitted to intensive care.
Some groups of people are more susceptible to suffering complications from H1N1 than others. These include: children under the age of two; senior citizens who are 65 and older; pregnant women; women who have given birth within the past two weeks; young adults undergoing aspirin therapy; respiratory ailment sufferers; and those whose immune system has been weakened by diabetes or HIV.
H1N1 a Resilient Strain
Influenza strains such as H1N1 can be very resilient. In Singapore, doctors discovered that within 48 hours of being treated with Tamiflu, a form of the virus had become resistant to the drug. They dubbed this mutation H275Y and cautioned that it was a reminder that if patients suffering from H1N1 failed to respond quickly to treatment, it may be because their strain is resisting Tamiflu and zanamivir.