Tamiflu

Generic Name: Oseltamivir

  • What is Tamiflu?

    Tamiflu is used to treat adults and children with influenza (the flu) whose symptoms (fevers, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose) started within the last 48 hours. Tamiflu can also reduce the chance of getting the flu if there is an outbreak in the community, as well as in people who have a higher chance of getting the flu.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Tamiflu?

    Tamiflu can prevent the flu as long as you take the medication correctly. Getting a yearly flu shot is still the best way of avoiding the disease entirely. For older adults, those in high-risk situations (such as healthcare workers), and people with an immune deficiency or respiratory disease, vaccination is imperative.

  • Who should not take Tamiflu?

    Do not take Tamiflu if you are allergic to any ingredient of the formulation.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Tamiflu?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Tamiflu. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney disease, heart disease, respiratory disease, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Prevention of Influenza (flu)

    Treatment should be given within 2 days of exposure.

    Adults and children ≥13 years: The usual dose is 75 milligrams (mg) taken once a day for at least 10 days. If there is a general outbreak of the flu in your community, your doctor may recommend that you continue taking Tamiflu for up to 6 weeks.

    Children 1 to 12 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their weight.

    Treatment of Influenza

    Treatment should be given within 2 days of flu symptoms.

    Adults and children ≥13 years: The usual dosage is 75 mg taken twice daily (morning and evening) for 5 days.

    Children 1 to 12 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their weight.

  • How should I take Tamiflu?

    It is important that you begin your treatment as soon as possible from the first appearance of flu symptoms or soon after you are exposed to the flu. If you feel worse, develop new symptoms during treatment with Tamiflu, or if your flu symptoms do not get better, talk to your doctor.

    Take Tamiflu with or without food. If you experience stomach upset, take it with a light snack, milk, or a meal.

    If taking Tamiflu suspension (liquid), shake well for about 5 seconds and use the supplied dispenser to measure the correct dose for each use.

  • What should I avoid while taking Tamiflu?

    Unless your doctor gives you specific directions, there are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while taking Tamiflu.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Tamiflu?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Tamiflu at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

    As a precaution, intranasal influenza vaccine should not be used until 2 days after Tamiflu therapy is completed. Unless directed by your doctor, Tamiflu should not be used until 2 weeks after receiving influenza vaccine.

  • What are the possible side effects of Tamiflu?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: bronchitis, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, cough, fatigue

    There have been reports of abnormal behavior in children taking Tamiflu. Children should be monitored for confusion, hallucinations, speech problems, or self-injury during treatment.

  • Can I receive Tamiflu if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Tamiflu during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Tamiflu?

    Take it as soon as possible. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Tamiflu?

    Store at room temperature. Keep the blister pack dry.

    The liquid suspension can be refrigerated and used within 17 days. Alternatively, it can be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days. Do not freeze.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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