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Antiviral treatment

© UNICEF/Create!

Antiviral drugs may reduce the symptoms and duration of illness, just as they do for seasonal influenza. They also may contribute to preventing severe disease and death.

So far however most people with Influenza A(H1N1) have recovered without antiviral treatment, relying on good health care practices.

a) Who receives antivirals?
In Malaysia, the Ministry of Health is using antiviral medications -- Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir -- for the following groups if they have symptoms of influenza-like illness:

i.    People who are in the priority group for treatment.

ii.   People who are not in the priority group but have had persistent, high fever for more than two days.

It works best if taken within two days after symptoms appear, but it is not necessary for healthy people as the disease is usually mild and self-limiting.

b) Where can I receive treatment?
Antiviral medication may be prescribed by all government and private hospitals and clinics based on the doctors’ clinical judgement.

c) Can I use antivirals without medical prescription?
No. You should only take an antiviral if your health care provider advises you to do so. Individuals should not buy medicines to prevent or fight this new influenza without a prescription, and they should exercise caution in buying antivirals over the Internet.

Misusing antivirals without proper medical supervision can create complications.

WHO Warning:
Purchase of antivirals without a prescription





Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre

     Ministry of Health
   8.00 am - 5.30 pm


  Government Hospitals
   Care Clinics (private)

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