Three antiviral medicines are available for the treatment of influenza in Finland: oseltamivir and zanamivir. Amantadine is currently unavailable in Finland. A supply of medicines is also kept for a potential influenza pandemic. The efficacy of antiviral medication in the prevention and treatment of influenza cannot be confirmed until after the type and sensitivity of the virus to the antiviral medication available have been established. Because the sensitivity of viruses changes, the choice of medication, therapeutic indications and dosage can change quickly at different stages of the epidemic.
Fimea monitors the quality, efficacy, safety and distribution of antiviral medication. In the event of a pandemic, up-to-date information on antivirals and their use is available on the websites of THL and Fimea.
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is for oral use and available in capsules and oral suspension. Approved therapeutic indications of oseltamivir include the treatment of influenza in adults and children, including full-term newborns; and post-exposure prevention of influenza in adults and children aged 12 months and over, and in the event of pandemic, in children under the age of 12 months.
Zanamivir (Relenza®) is an inhalation powder administered directly into the respiratory tract. In Finland, approved therapeutic indications include the treatment and post-exposure prevention of influenza in adults and children aged over 5.
More detailed information on Tamiflu and Relenza is available in the summary of product characteristics and the package leaflet.