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FDA approves emergency use of intravenous peramivir against swine flu

October 24, 2009 |  9:20 am

Pig Responding to a request from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved emergency use of the experimental intravenous antiviral drug  peramivir to treat hospitalized patients with pandemic H1N1 influenza.

Tamiflu, the primary drug used to treat swine flu, is given orally, and Relenza, also used, is given as a nasal spray. Some experiments have been conducted with an intravenous form of Relenza and it has been credited with saving at least one swine flu patient's life, but it is considered more experimental than peramivir.

The problem with existing drugs is that some people have difficulties tolerating the oral Tamiflu and that the nasal spray Relenza may not get deep enough into the lungs to reach the swine flu virus when it causes viral pneumonia. The emergency use authorization says peramivir can be used when other drugs have failed or when delivery by a route other than intravenous is not expected to be feasible.

Peramivir, manufactured by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc., is still in Phase 3 clinical trials. Known side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and decreases in white blood cell count, all of which stop when its use is halted. It has not been tested in pregnant women.

-- Thomas H. Maugh II

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Comments (8)

I never bought into the death squad theory,but, the government seem to play with peoples lives. The late President Reagan said it best during his second bid for office, " people look for the government to solve all of their problems, the Government is the problem. " They cause the problem and then dash the hopes of the people by telling them that now we have no solution to the problem,but, if you open your window,it'll get you.

My daughter (30) is in Haborview Medical Center ICU fighting for her life due to H1N1 and ARDS. If it wasn't for peramivir she wouldn't have a chance.

Take the time to educate yourself on the H1N1 virus. Ignorant comments like the above are why people are dying from this.

Relenza is not a nasal spray. It is a powder that is inhaled through the mouth using an oral inhalation device called a Diskhaler.

For a look at how many cases of swine flu have been recorded/estimated in the US/world, check out:

Hi Thomas and others,
As a natural / holistic practitioner, I realize flu vaccines are made from live virus strains, and whether dead or alive these pathogens often cause illness as a result of using them. So to me this reads: "Well, if this drug does not make me sick enough, they have another "stronger one" that could lead to even more severe symptoms".

There are many simpler ways to reverse symptoms than "intravenous injection" that completely bypasses the body's built-in immunity mechanism. It's also obvious this "mind set" leads to way too many side effects, sometimes worse than the disease they are supposed to build immunity against.

Yet let's look at the facts. Often those with severe flu symptoms that need emergency medical assistance have other causes leading to an extreme reaction to this pathogen. This is where prevention could have avoided a casualty.

I happy to report that peramivir worked and my daughter is on the road to recovery. Thank you BioCryst Pharmaceuticals for you timely research and execution bringing this badly needed solution to patents in ICU with little hope left.

To the guy who says the weird crap about the government and death squad theories come tell this to the families of the deceased on my unit I dare you! You wouldn't last a minute, are these the words you want me to share with your family while your death is slow and prolonged while you are on a ventilator? To the holistic healer, this is an IV antiviral and the people I've seen get it did not receive the vaccine, did not respond to tamiflu and likely would have died without receiving peramivir.

I wish people that did not work in these fields, or those who are patients or families were not allowed to comment on these subjects it does the public a disservice filling their minds with erroneous BS about the virus and it's treatment.
It may not be the huge killer the media has made it out to be but it is killing people!


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