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Postexposure prophylaxis with inhaled zanamivir was efficacious for household contacts of people with influenza

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 QUESTION: In household contacts of people with influenza, what is the efficacy of postexposure prophylaxis with inhaled zanamivir?


Randomised {allocation concealed*}, blinded {patients, clinicians, outcome assessors, and statisticians},* controlled trial with follow up to 28 days.


15 centres in the US, Canada, the UK, and Finland.


337 families with 2–5 members, including ≥1 adult and ≥1 child who was 5–17 years of age. Family members who were hypersensitive to zanamivir, immunocompromised, pregnant, breast feeding, or using an anti-influenza agent were not assigned to a study drug. All families were included in the intention to treat analysis, and 1147 of 1158 (99%) participants completed the study.


Within 36 hours after 1 family member contracted an influenza-like illness (index case), eligible family members began to take the study drug. Influenza-like illness was defined as ≥2 of temperature ≥37.8° C, feverishness, cough, headache, sore throat, and myalgia. The 321 index case patients (mean age 19 y, 58% women) were allocated to inhaled zanamivir (n=163), 10 mg, or placebo …

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  • Source of funding: Glaxo Wellcome.

  • For correspondence: Dr F G Hayden, University of Virginia, Health Sciences Center, Box 800473, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.