Purpose: Although oseltamivir is widely used for treatment of influenza, few clinical studies of its efficacy and resistance have been performed in Korea. We evaluated the safety, side effects, and efficacy of oseltamivir treatment in Korean pediatric patients. Methods: We analyzed 321 children diagnosed with influenza at Busan St. Mary's Medical Center, Korea, between January 2008 and June 2008 (first study period) and November 2008 and January 2009 (second study period). Patients were divided into two groups: those receiving oseltamivir treatment for 5 days and those receiving only symptomatic treatment. We investigated clinical symptoms, side effects, and resistance to oseltamivir. We also identified influenza strains and evaluated resistance to oseltamivir using an influenza virus culture. Results: One hundred eighty-six patients were assigned to the treatment group, and 135 were assigned to the control group. The treatment group showed shorter admission duration (4.4 days) compared with controls (5.0 days) (P =0.000) and had fewer lower respiratory tract complications compared with controls (P <0.05). No significant statistical difference in the virus antigenic type was observed between the groups. In the first study period, virus culture showed influenza B (41.7% vs. 49.6%), A/H3N2 (7.9% vs. 8.4%), and A/H1N1 (9.4% vs. 6.5%). In the second study period, only A/H1N1 (55.3% vs. 50.0%) was isolated, except for one case of A (H3N2) in the treatment group. No differences in short- and long-term side effects, including neuropsychologic side effects, were noted between groups. There was no resistance to oseltamivir before or after treatment in the first study period. Conclusion: Based on our results, we suggest that osetalmivir therapy in pediatric patients is effective.
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