) is an antiviral treatment useful in preventing influenza from developing or worsening in exposed patients. Tamiflu capsules were widely distributed around the world during the 2008 swine flu outbreak.
The medication works by disrupting an enzyme the virus needs to spread to other cells, preventing the virus from spreading to the point that a person becomes ill or illness worsens. It is not a flu vaccine, and is not effective against the common cold.
Taking Tamiflu Capsules:
Tamiflu capsules come in dosage strengths of 30 mg, 45 mg and 75 mg. The standard dose for otherwise healthy patients over 13 years of age is 75 mg. Lower doses are recommended for young children, elderly patients, and individual with serious health conditions.
Capsules may be opened and mixed with food or liquids. Taking with food is not necessary, but helps prevent nausea in some patients.
Nausea and vomiting are also common flu symptoms. If vomiting occurs within 30 minutes of taking a dose, it should be retaken.
Whether using Tamiflu capsules for prevention or treatment, it's important to keep taking the medicine even if no symptoms develop or if symptoms get better. Similar to antibiotics, incomplete antiviral treatment can lead to resistent viruses and complications in treating the illness.
Tamiflu is also available as an oral suspension
During local flu outbreaks or if exposure to the virus is otherwise anticipated, Tamiflu prevents flu infection in over 90% of users.
For flu prevention, 1 dose is taken daily for 10 days following exposure.
Tamiflu may interfere with flu vaccinations, causing the vaccine to be less effective. Avoid getting a flu vaccination within 48 hours of taking Tamiflu capsules.
Tamiflu capsules work best when treatment begins within the first 48 hours of noticing flu symptoms:
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Chest congestion, coughing
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
To combat influenza, 1 dose of Tamiflu is given 2 times a day for 5 days.
In preventing the flu virus from further spreading throughout the body, Tamiflu prevents symptoms from worsening. It does not directly improve existing symptoms, however. other medications designed to provide relief from flu symptoms may be used along with Tamiflu.
Contraindications and Precautions:
Certain pre-existing conditions put individuals at greater risk of experiencing serious side effects. Patients with the following should speak with a doctor before using Tamiflu capsules:
- Kidney, heart or lung disease
- Weakened immune system
- Any condition that causes swelling of the brain
- Any other major illness
Tamiflu capsules should not be used within 2 weeks of receiving a flu vaccine.
The effects of Tamiflu capsules on unborn or nursing babies is unknown. It should be used by pregnant or nursing mothers only if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Tamiflu should never be given to children under 1 year of age.
Other medications, supplements and vitamins may interfere with Tamiflu's effectiveness, and vice versa. A pharmacist or doctor can explain any potential interactions.
Tamiflu capsules rarely produce side effects, and most are mild:
A small percentage of patients, primarily children and teenagers, may experience anxiety, agitation and hallucinations. Children and teenagers should use this medication only under supervision.
Active ingredient: oseltamivir
Inactive ingredients: gelatin, sodium stearyl fumarate, povidone K30, titanium dioxide, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, yellow, red & black iron oxide, talc
Patients allergic to any of the ingredients should not use Tamiflu
capsules. A doctor or pharmacist can recommend an alternative treatment.