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FDA Approves Rapivab to Help Treat Influenza in Adults

Posted on Thu, Dec 25, 2014
FDA Approves Rapivab to Help Treat Influenza in Adults

First neuraminidase inhibitor approved as an intravenous formulation

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rapivab (peramivir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat influenza in adults.

The intravenous drug inhibits neuraminidase, an enzyme that releases viral particles from infected cells, the FDA explained Monday in a news release. Rapivab is approved for people 18 and older, with acute uncomplicated influenza, who have had flu symptoms for no more than two days. It is administered as a single intravenous dose.

Rapivab's safety and effectiveness were evaluated in a randomized clinical study of 297 people with a confirmed case of the flu. Those given the newly approved drug had symptoms ease about 21 hours sooner than people who didn't take the drug, the FDA said. Common side effects include diarrhea; rare, but serious, side effects include serious skin or hypersensitivity reactions. And the FDA stressed that Rapivab and other antiviral drugs are not substitutes for getting the annual flu vaccine.

"Rapivab is the third neuraminidase inhibitor approved by the FDA to treat flu infection, but the first approved as an intravenous formulation," Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the news release. "The availability of a single-dose, intravenous option for the treatment of acute uncomplicated flu allows health care professionals and patients to have a choice based on an individual patient's needs."

Rapivab is produced by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, based in Durham, N.C.

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Tags: FDA, flu, treatment

In Case You Missed It: Week of Dec. 12, 2014

Posted on Fri, Dec 12, 2014

“In Case You Missed It” is a weekly roundup of popular healthcare headlines.
 

  • What a Bad Flu Season Could Cost the U.S. Economy. This year's flu season looks worse than usual. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned last week that the dominant influenza virus right now, H3N2, typically signals a severe flu season ... continue on BusinessInsider.com
  • An Argument With No Clear Winner. “You’re going to the hospital.”
    “I’m NOT going to the hospital. There’s nothing they’d do and it would cost us thousands of dollars for nothing. Besides … we have to leave. We’re already late.” >> continue reading at EPMonthly.com
  • Whooping Cough Outbreak Strikes Undervaccinated Michigan County. A major outbreak of whooping cough has struck a Michigan area where many people opted out of vaccinations against the disease... continue reading at Time.com
  • Limits to resident hours don't improve patient safety. Efforts to cut down on the hours logged by doctors in training have had no measurable impact on patient outcomes ... continue reading at FierceHealthcare.com
  • Do good, and don't complain: Q&A with Dr. Steven Gabbe, CEO of OSU Wexner Medical Center. "I've never heard someone tell me, 'You just don't understand,' because they know I do." Steven Gabbe, MD, took the helm of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in 2008 ... continue to BeckersHospitalReview.com

Want to know what our clinicians are reading? Read the collection below!
 

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5 Reason to get a flu shot + The Viral Flu Shot Video You Need to Watch Now

Posted on Thu, Oct 02, 2014
5 Reason to get a flu shot + The Viral Flu Shot Video You Need to Watch Now

It is officially the best time to get your flu shot. If you’re on the fence about getting the flu shot, our Divisional Director of Clinical Services, Denise Sexton, RN, BSN, has written up the five best reasons to give it a shot! And, after the tips, click the link below to see one brave little girl who shows you how to conquer the flu shot.

5 Reasons to get a Flu Shot

  1. Getting a flu vaccine can reduce physician visits and insurance claims by up to 44%. This decreases the risk of spreading the flu to patients going to physicians for other reasons. This also decreases unnecessary visit to the emergency department.
  2. To prevent complications from the flu. Flu can turn into pneumonia especially if someone has respiratory problems or who has a weakened immune system. This also includes people 65 years of age and older or people of any age with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, pregnant women and children. Influenza is the most frequent cause of death in a vaccine preventable disease. Each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications and about 36,000 people die of complications of the flu in the US. Of these people 90 percent of the deaths occur in people 65 or older.  
  3. Loss of hours worked. You may lose 5-7 days of work if you become ill with the flu and do not suffer any secondary infections from the flu which could cause you to be off from work even longer. CDC states there can be up to a 45% reduction in lost workdays by being vaccinated.
  4. Prevent spreading illness to your children and family at home. You can be infectious to others up to a day before you show any symptoms.
  5. Prevent spreading illness to the patients you are caring for and/or coworkers. This can reduce morbidity and mortality for patients who are at risk when in the hospital and cause coworkers to miss days at work or spread the illness to their friends or family.
Click here to watch the latest viral video of one child’s reaction to getting the flu shot.

BONUS: If you think you know all there is to know about the flu take the Flu IQ Quiz at  www.cdc.gov/flu/fluiq.htm.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise Sexton o­ffers 20 years of healthcare experience to EmCare partner hospitals, and over 15 years specifically in the emergency department and in leadership roles. As a Divisional Director of Clinical Services for EmCare, Denise’s strength in leadership and diverse clinical skills provides a solid foundation for improving hospital operations, not only in the E.D, but also with services including hospitalist programs, observation units, operating rooms and critical care units. Denise uses her education and experience to o­ffer expertise and broad perspectives for E.D. and inpatient managers.

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Tags: CDC, flu, vaccine, virus