Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is an antiviral used to prevent the flu from developing or worsening in a patient. The medication works by interfering with an enzyme the virus needs to spread throughout the body, preventing illness from developing or worsening.
Tamiflu suspension is a fruit flavored liquid for oral administration of the medication, ideal for children or patients with an aversion to or unable to swallow pills. Tamiflu is also available in capsules
. Dosing Tamiflu Suspension:
The average dose for healthy patients age 13 and above is 12.5 mL of Tamiflu suspension. Dosage should be adjusted for young children according weight:
- 15 kg (33 lbs) or less should receive 5 mL in each dose.
- 16 kg to 23 kg (34 to 51 lbs) should receive 7.5 mL.
- 41 kg (89 lbs) and up should receive 12.5 mL.
- Children under 1 year old should never be given Tamiflu suspension.
The correct dosage is important, especially in younger children. Use the dosing dispenser that came with the product to measure each dose. A physician or pharmacist can provide a replacement dispenser if the original is not available. Do not guess or estimate doses.
Elderly patients and anyone suffering a major illness or medical condition should discuss Tamiflu use with a doctor for the ideal dosage strength.Administering Tamiflu Suspension:
Frequency and duration of treatment depends on whether Tamiflu suspension is being used for prevention or treatment:
- For prevention, 1 dose is taken once a day for 10 days. Treatment should begin whenever exposure to the virus is likely, such as during a local flu outbreak.
- For treating a flu infection, 1 dose should be taken twice daily for 5 days. Treatment should begin within 48 hours of first noticing flu symptoms; the medication is not very effective after the first 2 days.
- Continue taking the medication even if symptoms improve. Similar to antibiotics, failure to complete antiviral treatments may lead to resistant strains of the virus.
Tamiflu suspension can be taken with or without food.
If a dose is missed, it should be taken when remembered unless it is within 2 hours of the next dose, in which case it should be skipped entirely.Tamiflu and Flu Symptoms:
As mentioned above, Tamiflu suspension prevents flu symptoms from worsening if given within the first 48 hours of symptoms appearing. Common flu symptoms include:
- High fever or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Chest congestion, coughing
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
What Tamiflu does not
do is reduce symptoms that have already appeared. Other medications made to provide relief from symptoms may be used with Tamiflu suspension for patient comfort.Before Taking Tamiflu Suspension:
Tamiflu is not a flu vaccine, and may reduce the effectiveness of flu vaccines given within 48 hours of taking Tamiflu. Likewise patients should not begin using Tamiflu within 2 weeks of receiving a flu vaccine.
Patients with serious illness or medical conditions should not use Tamiflu suspension without first talking to a doctor about potential risks:
- Any kidney, heart or lung disease, such as asthma
- Any condition which weakens the immune system, such as lupus
- Any condition which causes swelling of the brain
- Any other major illness, such as diabetes or cancer
A small percentage of patients, usually children or teenagers, may behave erratically shortly after starting Tamiflu treatment. Any abnormal behavior should be brought to the attention of a physician.Ingredients:
Active ingredient: oseltamivir phosphate
Inactive ingredients: monosodium citrate, saccharin sodium, sorbitol, titanium dioxide, sodium benzoate, xanthan gum, tutti-frutti flavoring
Individuals who are allergic to any of the ingredients in Tamiflu suspension should speak with a doctor or pharmacist about alternative treatments. This product contains fructose.