Designated for caregivers of the sick, the very young and old, pregnant women and those who are immunosuppressed, antiviral medications can be used to prevent contracting the swine flu. The two drugs most commonly prescribed are zamivir and oseltamivir. The trade name for oseltamivir is Tamiflu. This medication is taken orally before contact with those infected with the swine flu to prevent contraction of the illness. Zamivir is taken by inhalation only.
These two drugs are under severe criticicm. As H5N1 remains a potential pandemic threat, the incidence of mutations conferring reduced to zanamivir and oseltamivir susceptibility.
The upcoming article on PEA and flu will add a new anti-viral and anti-flu agent, but without side effects and probably devoid of resistance. Now PEA can be considered as a breakthrough natural therapy for flu and common colds.
Indeed, recently it was suggested that :
….the risk for virus strain resistance, possible side effects and financial cost outweigh the small benefits of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the prophylaxis and treatment of healthy individuals. No relevant benefits of these drugs on complications in at-risk individuals have been established.
For instance oseltamivir-resistant strains have also been reported quite frequently, as in the case of seasonal H1N1 viruses that circulated between 2007 and 2009.
PEA is quite interesting that due to its mechanism of action, drug resistance is not likely. This is linked to the fact that PEA is a not a anti-viral drug but a modulator of the immune system.
(Palmitoylethanolamide: a natural body-own anti-inflammatory agent, effective and safe against influenza and common cold, Int J Inflamm in Press).
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