877-944-6131 Email Us

Clinician’s Corner: Tamiflu

Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) has been available for treatment of the flu since 1999.  It works by preventing flu viruses from spreading from infected cells to other healthy cells.

So far this flu season of 2018, influenza viruses have been susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications, which also includes zanamivir (Relenza®), and peramivir (Rapivab®).

Indications for use:

  • Patients two weeks of age and older, who have had flu symptoms for 2 days (48 hours) or less. Oseltamivir is effective against both influenza type A and B. Therapy should begin within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Oseltamivir may reduce symptoms by 1 day.
  • Prevention of influenza A and B in patients one year of age and older

Warnings/Precautions/ Adverse effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, headache and pain.
  • CDC warning: November 13, 2006: Cautions for neuropsychiatric events for Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®). Self-injury and delirium has been observed in Japan primarily among pediatric patients.  Monitor pediatric patients for signs of unusual behavior.

Representative Products:

Tamiflu® (oseltamivir)   30mg, 45mg, 75mg capsules,   (generics are available)

and powder for suspension 6mg/ml: 60 ml per bottle

Adults: 75mg twice daily for 5 days.

Children:  based on body weight

Patients should start the 5-day regimen as soon as possible.  Take two doses the first day, no matter when the prescription is received.  Take first dose as soon as you pick up your medicine, the second dose can be taken before bed.  The next day doses can be given at breakfast and supper.

The prevention dose is the same as above EXCEPT all doses are given ONCE daily for 10 days.  Patients need to be over 1 year of age to receive prevention doses of oseltamivir.

What oseltamivir doesn’t do:

  • It does not prevent bacterial infections
  • It is NOT a substitute for the annual flu vaccine
  • Of no value if started later than 48 hours after onset of symptoms.

What you can do to prevent the flu:

  • Get your flu shot every October.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way
  • Avoid sick people. You (or your child) should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • Flu viruses can live on inanimate objects for 24 hours. Clean and disinfect surfaces.
  • Ask your Thompson pharmacist for recommendations for Flu vaccines, hand sanitizers, fever reducing agents like Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin). Go ahead and ASK…. At Thompson Pharmacy… its all for YOU!