Oseltamivir in seasonal, pandemic, and avian influenza: a comprehensive review of 10-years clinical experience

James R Smith, Craig R. Rayner, Barbara Donner, Martina Wollenhaupt, Klaus Klumpp, Regina Dutkowski

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland) is an orally administered antiviral for the treatment and prevention of influenza A and B infections that is registered in more than 100 countries worldwide. More than 83 million patients have been exposed to the product since its introduction. Oseltamivir is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for use in the clinical management of pandemic and seasonal influenza of varying severity, and as the primary antiviral agent for treatment of avian H5N1 influenza infection in humans. This article is a nonsystematic review of the experience gained from the first 10 years of using oseltamivir for influenza infections since its launch in early 2000, emphasizing recent advances in our understanding of the product and its clinical utility in five main areas. The article reviews the pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir and its active metabolite, oseltamivir carboxylate, including information on special populations such as children and elderly adults, and the co-administration of oseltamivir with other agents. This is followed by a summary of data on the effectiveness of oseltamivir treatment and prophylaxis in patients with all types of influenza, including pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and avian H5N1 influenza. The implications of changes in susceptibility of circulating influenza viruses to oseltamivir and other antiviral agents are also described, as is the emergence of antiviral resistance during and after the 2009 pandemic. The fourth main section deals with the safety profile of oseltamivir in standard and special patient populations, and reviews spontaneously reported adverse event data from the pandemic and pre-pandemic periods and the topical issue of neuropsychiatric adverse events. Finally, the article considers the pharmacoeconomics of oseltamivir in comparison with vaccination and usual care regimens, and as a component of pandemic influenza mitigation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-959
Number of pages33
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • avian
  • efficacy
  • influenza
  • oseltamivir
  • pandemic
  • pharmacoeconomics
  • pharmacokinetics
  • resistance
  • safety
  • seasonal

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