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What is Tamiflu?
Tamiflu is an antiviral medication that is also available with the generic name Oseltamivir. It blocks the functioning of influenza virus types A and B in the body.
Tamiflu helps treat flu symptoms that occur by influenza virus in people who have symptoms for less than two days. Your medical healthcare provider may suggest you take this medicine to prevent influenza if you got exposed but do not have any symptoms yet. Keep in mind that this drug will not treat the common cold.
It would help if you did not take Tamiflu in place of a yearly flu shot. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends the annual flu shot to protect you from new influenza virus strains each year.
Before taking Tamiflu, tell your medical healthcare provider if you had a nasal flu vaccine within the past two weeks or have heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, or any other severe disease or health problem. Also, inform your medical healthcare provider if you have any medical condition causing swelling or disorder of the brain.
Take Tamiflu for as many days as recommended for you, even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before complete treatment of the infection.
Some people taking Tamiflu have had rare side effects of delirium, sudden confusion, unusual behavior, hallucinations, or self-injury. These symptoms occur mainly in children, and it will be irrational to say that Tamiflu is the exact cause of these symptoms. However, one must closely observe anyone taking this medicine for signs of confusion and unusual behavior. Immediately consult your doctor if you or your child taking this medicine have any of these symptoms.
What to know before taking Tamiflu?
Before taking Tamiflu, check with your doctor if you are allergic to it or not. Avoid using this drug to treat flu symptoms in an infant younger than two weeks old. Infants as young as one year old may take this medicine to prevent flu symptoms.
Tell your medical healthcare provider if you have ever had any of the following medical conditions:
● Chronic lung disease or heart disease;
● Kidney disease (or if you are going through dialysis);
● A medical condition causing swelling or brain disorder;
● Hereditary fructose intolerance;
● A weak immune system mainly due to any disease or by using specific medicines; or
● If you have had FluMist (a nasal flu vaccine) within the past two weeks
It is still unknown whether Tamiflu may harm an unborn baby or not. However, infection from the influenza virus during pregnancy can cause medical complications leading to low birth weight, congenital disabilities, stillbirth, or preterm delivery. Your medical healthcare provider will decide whether you should receive Tamiflu during pregnancy or not.
CDC recommends that pregnant women can receive a flu vaccine one time a year to prevent influenza. It would help if you did not take Tamiflu in place of a yearly flu shot.
It is still a question whether Tamiflu passes into the breastmilk or if it could prove harmful for a nursing baby. Tell your medical healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding a nursing baby.
How to take Tamiflu?
Take Tamiflu precisely as per the doctor’s prescription. Follow all instructions on your prescription label and attentively read all instruction sheets or medication guides. Use the medication as per the directions.
Start taking Oseltamivir as soon as possible with the appearance of flu symptoms, such as chills, fever, sore throat, muscle aches, and stuffy or runny nose.
Take the capsule form of Tamiflu with a full glass of water.
Shake the liquid oral suspension before measuring a dose. Use a proper medicine dose-measuring device rather than a kitchen spoon to measure the amount.
You may take Tamiflu with food if it upsets your stomach.
Read and attentively follow all the instructions for use available with the medicine. If you have any queries, ask any of your medical healthcare providers.
Store Tamiflu capsules away from heat and moisture at room temperature.
Store liquid medicine form of Tamiflu in the refrigerator but do not freeze. Dispose of any unused liquid after 17 days.
You may store the liquid at cool room temperature also for up to 10 days.
Your doctor should initiate your treatment with Tamiflu within 48 hours of the occurrence of influenza symptoms.
To treat flu symptoms, you should take Tamiflu every 12 hours for five days.
For prevention of Flu symptoms, take Tamiflu within every 24 hours for ten days or as per the prescription. Follow the instructions of your medical healthcare provider.
The usual oral Tamiflu dosage for adults and adolescents (13 years of age or older) is 75 mg twice daily (one 12.5 mL of oral suspension or 75 mg capsule twice daily) for five days.
In case of an overdose to Tamiflu, take immediate medical help or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Tamiflu?
Do not take FluMist (a nasal flu vaccine) within the past two weeks. Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) may obstruct or interfere with the drug action of FluMist and make the vaccine less effective. Follow the instructions of your medical healthcare provider.
Tamiflu side effects
Take instant medical help if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction to Tamiflu, including:
● Trouble breathing, hives, swelling in the throat or face; or
● Severe skin reaction (sore throat, fever, skin pain, burning eyes, purple or red skin rash with peeling and blistering).
Some people, especially children taking Tamiflu, have had unusual sudden changes in mood or behavior. It is not clear that Tamiflu is the exact reason behind these symptoms. Even without taking Oseltamivir, anyone suffering from influenza can have behavioral or neurologic symptoms.
Immediately consult with your doctor if you have any of the following severe side effects after taking Tamiflu:
● Tremors or shaking;
● Sudden confusion;
● Hallucinations; or
● Unusual behavior
Common side effects of taking Tamiflu may include headache, nausea, vomiting, or pain. Keep in mind that it is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. For further information regarding side effects, consult your medical healthcare provider. You may report the aftermath of taking Tamiflu to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What drugs can interact with Tamiflu?
Various other drugs may interact with Tamiflu, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal products, and vitamins. Tell your medical healthcare provider about all the medicines you are using currently and any medication you start or stop taking.