Antivirals are infrequently prescribed in European primary care for influenza-like illness, mostly because of perceived ineffectiveness in real world primary care and because individuals who will especially benefit have not been identified in independent trials..
..The estimated absolute mean benefit from oseltamivir was 1·02 days (95% [BCrI] 0·74–1·31) overall, and in the prespecified subgroups, ranged from 0·70 (95% BCrI 0·30–1·20) in patients younger than 12 years, with less severe symptoms, no comorbidities, and shorter previous illness duration to 3·20 (95% BCrI 1·00–5·50) in patients aged 65 years or older who had more severe illness, comorbidities, and longer previous illness duration. Regarding harms, an increased burden of vomiting or nausea was observed in the oseltamivir group.
Primary care patients with influenza-like illness treated with oseltamivir recovered one day sooner on average than those managed by usual care alone. Older, sicker patients with comorbidities and longer previous symptom duration recovered 2–3 days sooner.