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Amantadine for Influenza

Jonathan M. Mann, MD
JAMA. 1977;237(1):25. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270280027009.
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To the Editor.—  A recent article by Drs Jackson and Stanley (235:2739, 1976) on the chemoprophylaxis of influenza concluded, "There is a role for the further development of chemoprophylaxis and chemotherapy for influenza that deserves attention and support." The major currently available chemoprophylactic agent for influenza A virus is amantadine, which is labeled for prophylaxis of A2 influenza (201:114, 1967). Since amantadine has only been available for clinical and epidemiologic study in the era of the A2 influenza viruses, its use against a substantially different type A influenza virus, such as the swine flu virus (A/New Jersey/ 76; Hsw1N1), is untested.Nevertheless, there is data to support the suggestion that amantadine could be equally effective against swine flu virus as against A2 influenza. In tissue culture, amantadine was found to inhibit the multiplication of several influenza A viruses (A/PR/8 [HON1]; A/Fort Meyers [H1N1]) but was without effect against influenza B


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