Tamiflu: Drug Uses, Side Effects, Interaction & Dosing
Tamiflu is an antiviral drug used in the treatment of influenza types A and B. Approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) on the 3rd of August 2016, Tamiflu generic (also known as Oseltamivir phosphate) is a prescription drug in the U.S and other countries where its use is legal. However, despite its approval, the drug is not yet widely available in chemists and pharmacies. This is because the manufacturer of Tamiflu only acquired distribution rights in July 2019
While Tamiflu has shown high potency in treating flu, especially among patients who start taking it at the earliest onset of flu symptoms, as well as in preventive measures, one must seek professional advice on Tamiflu prescription from qualified medical doctors. It’s to avoid drug misuse or abuse.
Even more importantly, patients should note that the best time to start using the drug is within 48 hours of flu symptoms, as the drug is most effective within two days after the onset on flu symptoms.
Now, taking into consideration the main use of Oseltamivir, many other questions come to mind. Flu patients out there looking to get the right information about the drug should note that this post answers vital questions about Tamiflu such as the following:
- What are the side effects/contraindications of Tamiflu?
- Does Tamiflu interact with other drugs?
- How should patients take Oseltamivir and what is the right dosage?
Oseltamivir: Contraindications and Side Effects
An important question patients using or planning to use Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) should ask is whether the drug has side effects/contraindications or not.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Tamiflu is a drug that is well tolerated in patients. However, adverse effects side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, vertigo, and insomnia, may become manifest in some patients.
There are other side effects, albeit with only a one percent chance of showing up. They include allergic reactions, conjunctivitis, seizures, and erythema. Like most flu drugs, patients using Oseltamivir have reported contraindications. Contraindications refer to hypersensitivity or allergic reactions that come with using prescription drugs and, in this case, Tamiflu.
A documented Oseltamivir contraindication is notable in patients who are allergic to sorbitol. Such individuals don’t tolerate the drug well because it contains sorbitol (a form of carbohydrate) hence should avoid taking it or use Tamiflu alternatives. Symptoms such as itchiness, skin rashes, and skin redness have also been reported in some patients using the drug.
Who Else Should Not Use Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)?
While the Oseltamivir drug has been approved by the FDA, it is prudent to also explore its use beyond being an antiviral drug. Thus, on the question of who else should not use Tamiflu, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) have investigated several issues and cases relating to Tamiflu use. For instance, a question of whether pregnant women should use Tamiflu has not only been a subject of studies, but also widespread debate in medical circles.
Given the risks that influence could pose to pregnant women, the CDC and FDA argue that benefits of Tamiflu to expectant mothers with flu symptoms often overweigh its risks. They put the drug in category C, which means there may some risks associated with its use. Another notable point is that, when expectant mothers take the drug, they are also protecting the unborn child from adverse effects of flu. It is, however, advisable that, during pregnancy, patients suffering from flu should seek medical advice on the safety of Oseltamivir.
To understand more about the Tamiflu drug, this post will further explore how interacts with other drugs. In the meantime, the following points are notable, especially among patients looking to start using Oseltamivir:
- Individuals suffering from type A or type B should inform their doctor about their allergic conditions before taking Tamiflu.
- Doctors should find out if patients seeking treatment using the drug have taken any nasal flu in the last 14 days.
- Patients should disclose their medical history, especially about illnesses that affect the liver, lungs, heart, and kidney.
- The fact that Tamiflu should only be administered to patients aged two years and older means breastfeeding mothers suffering from flu should inform their doctors before taking the drug.
Tamiflu Interaction with Other Drugs
Because drug interactions often come with risks, which may include reduced potency, how patients react after taking Tamiflu with other drugs in an interesting study area.
But first, patients should inform their doctors about drugs they are currently taking before taking Oseltamivir so medics can determine risks associated with mixing Oseltamivir with herbal, prescription, or nonprescription drugs.
Several studies have shown that Tamiflu may interact with some drugs used in treating other medical conditions, such as kidney diseases, heart problems, brain disorders, and allergic conditions. However, patients with flu symptoms can combine it with other OTC drugs that relieve body aches and reduce flu symptoms, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, oxymetazoline, dextromethorphan, and Theraflu. Something even more noteworthy is that patients who take alcohol will witness a slow recovery from flu symptoms. This is because alcohol weakens the body’s immune system.
Tamiflu Drug Administration and Dosage
Every drug comes with a recommended dose and mode of administration. Thus, patients exhibiting flu symptoms should stick to the right Oseltamivir dosage at all times. Regarding the mode of administration, it is noteworthy that the drug can be taken orally as tablets or oral suspension. It exists as capsules in the dosage of 75 mg, 45 mg, and 30 mg. For oral suspension, patients should dissolve 6 mg of the drug in 6 ml of water.
The dosage duration for Tamiflu (for patients who have flu symptoms) is usually five days or as directed by a physician. It should be taken twice a day. In cases of preventive treatment, medics recommend taking the drug once every day within ten or more days depending on the duration of the prescription. However, Oseltamivir dosage may vary depending on an individual’s medical condition.