) is an antiviral treatment used to prevent or combat influenza in adults and children. It is effective against influenza A virus and influenza B virus.
Since its introduction in the 1990s, Tamiflu has been used by tens of millions of people worldwide.
It works by inhibiting the spread of the virus once it's in the body, preventing illness from starting or worsening. Patients who are already ill before taking Tamiflu may still benefit from other flu medications designed to suppress symptoms.
The medication can be administered by either capsule or oral suspension.Tamiflu is Not a Vaccine:
Most vaccines work by introducing a virus to the body in such small amounts that the immune system is able to easily combat it. The immune system has then "learned" how to fight the infection and is able to do so much more efficiently and effectively in the future.
Because flu viruses are constantly evolving, flu vaccines have to be modified regularly, typically once a year.
Tamiflu does not contain flu virus or any of the controversial ingredients commonly included in vaccinations. Tamiflu targets an enzyme that inhibits the ability of the virus to spread from cell to cell, without needing to regularly adjust the formula.
Do not get vaccinated for the flu within 48 hours of using Tamiflu; the vaccine may not be as effective.Using Tamiflu to Prevent Influenza:
During a local flu outbreak, or if exposure is otherwise likely, taking Tamiflu once daily for 10 days will significantly decrease the chances of becoming ill. Studies indicate it is effective at preventing infection over 90% of the time.
The standard dose for ages 13 and up is either 75 mg by capsule or 12.5 mL of the oral suspension. Dosage strength for children under 13, the elderly, and individuals with certain health conditions will vary; a physician should be consulted for the ideal dosage.
It's important to complete treatment even if no symptoms of flu are noticed. Stopping treatment early may result in resistant, difficult-to-treat strains of the virus.Using Tamiflu to Treat Influenza:
Tamiflu is effective for up to 2 days, or 48 hours, after flu symptoms are noticed:
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Chest congestion, coughing
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
It will not stop existing symptoms, but will prevent the illness and symptoms from worsening. Other medications designed to treat symptoms themselves may taken in addition.
If using capsules, patients 13 years and up should take 75 mg twice daily for 5 days. For oral suspension, 12.5 mL are taken twice daily for 5 days. Treatment should be completed even if symptoms stop. Precautions:
Some patients are at greater risk of experiencing severe adverse reactions when using Tamiflu and should speak with a doctor about potential dangers before using:
- Kidney, heart or lung disease
- Weakened immune system
- Any condition that causes swelling of the brain
- Any other major illness
- Use of a flu vaccine in the previous 2 weeks
Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients in Tamiflu capsules or oral suspension should speak with a physician or pharmacist about alternative options.
This medication may be less effective if used with other prescription medications, supplements or vitamins. A doctor or pharmacist can explain any potentially dangerous interactions.Side Effects:
The most common side effects associated with this treatment are not serious, and not cause for concern unless severe or persistent:
Rarely some patients, particularly children and teenagers, experience mood changes and become confused or agitated after using Tamiflu. Even more rarely they may experience hallucinations and may harm themselves. Children and teenagers should be supervised until it is known how they handle the medication.