Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2021 Dec;42(6):859-872. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1733830. Epub 2021 Dec 16.
Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza A, B, and C viruses. It can occur in local outbreaks or seasonal epidemics, with possibility to spread worldwide in a pandemic when a novel strain with significant antigenic differences emerges. During the past years, several new drugs have become available, with different accessibility related to specific countries' approval. We have conducted a review of literature, analyzing the most recent data on efficacy and safety of drugs currently available to treat influenza, with a particular attention toward special populations. Efficacy and safety profile of neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir, laninamivir, peramivir) and recently approved cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor baloxavir marboxil are reported in literature, but still little information is available about special populations such as critically ill patients and patients with a history of chronic respiratory disease. Moreover, the emergence of strains with reduced or no susceptibility to current drugs is a matter of concern, suggesting the need of constant monitoring of viral variants.