Public Health England (PHE) has updated its guidance on Influenza: treatment and prophylaxis using antiviral agents.

While serious influenza illness can be controlled by infection prevention and control measures, such as the seasonal flu vaccine, antivirals can be used as well to prevent severe influenza-related illness and death.

In general practice, antiviral medicines can only be prescribed when the Chief Medical Officer has declared that influenza is circulating in the community.

The guidance covers:

  • treatment
  • post-exposure prophylaxis
  • use of antivirals:
    • during pregnancy
    • while breastfeeding
    • with hepatic or renal dysfunction.

The updated version of the PHE guidance includes:

  • improved readability
  • updated or removed links
  • updated information on unlicensed treatments
  • new summary algorithm in appendix 2 for the prescribing of antivirals
  • frequently asked questions.

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