Analysis of Intravenous Peramivir for Treatment of Seasonal Influenza Infections, Taiwan, 2010-2012

Hsiao-Yun Tsai1, Mei-Ling Lin1, Yi-Chien Chih1, Shu-Mei Chou1,Chang-Hsun Chen2, Chin-Hui Yang1

2013 Vol.29 NO.21

Correspondence Author: Hsiao-Yun Tsai

  • 1. Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2. Division of HIV/AIDS and TB, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


       Peramivir is a newly developed intravenous administrated neuraminidase inhibitor used to treat influenza, effective against both influenza A and influenza B infections. It is not approved in Taiwan yet, so a patient’s or  family’s consent is required before administration. Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) started to import peramivir from Japan under special permit since 2010. Oral and inhaled antivirals, Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir) in respective, are the first choices of treatment in influenza patients qualified for government-funded antivirals. Peramivir was imported to treat patients who cannot take Tamiflu orally or inhale Relenza due to unconsciousness or other morbidities, and to build a diverse stockpile of antivirals for our country. Because only physicians can prescribe intravenous injection and the price of the drug is high, peramivir is only used in qualified patients with severe complicated influenza. In this article, we analyzed 68 patients who had been treated with peramivir during 2010-2011 or 2011-2012 influenza seasons after obtaining permission from the district commander of the Communicable Disease Control Medical Network. Four hundred and thirty-nine packs were used. Compared with the number of patients with confirmed complicated influenza infection in two flu seasons, 1,784 in 2010-2011 and 1,704 in 2011-2012, and the number of death, 140 and 154 deaths in respective, the number of patients using peramivir was relatively small. More education on primary care physicians about the timing of peramivir usage is needed, because it is the only alternative in severe patients who cannot take orally or inhale other medications.