Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is a medicine used to treat the symptoms of influenza, commonly known as “the flu”. You can also take it to prevent flu during an outbreak, or if you have been in contact with someone who has the flu.
Tamiflu contains the active ingredient oseltamivir, an antiviral medicine which works by stopping the spread of the flu virus in your body. It helps alleviate symptoms such as a congested or runny nose, feeling tired, sore throat, cough, muscle or joint ache, headache, fever and chills. Tamiflu helps speed up recovery time by one to two days.
If you take Tamiflu within 48 hours of noticing flu-like symptoms, you should start to feel better within two days.
Tamiflu is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an effective treatment and preventative for influenza.
Influenza is most contagious during the first five days. While Tamiflu can reduce symptoms and speed up recovery time, you may still be contagious so it is important to take precautions such as sneezing into tissues, disinfecting surfaces and washing your hands frequently.
The active ingredient in Tamiflu is oseltamivir.
The inactive ingredients in Tamiflu are pregelatinised starch, talc, povidone, croscarmellose sodium, sodium fumarate, gelatin, yellow iron oxide (E172), red iron oxide (E172), black iron oxide (E172), titanium dioxide (E171), shellac (E904), FD and C Blue 2 (indigo carmine E132).
It is rare to have a very serious allergic reaction to this medication but if you experience any of these symptoms below you need to get medical help as soon as possible. The symptoms include: a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing and chest tightness. You should also let your prescribing doctor know.
Always take Tamiflu as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist. For treating flu, take Tamiflu twice daily for five days. For preventing flu, take Tamiflu once daily for ten days. Swallow the capsule whole with water. Tamiflu can be taken with or without food, although it can make you feel nauseous if you take it on an empty stomach. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, or just skip the dose if it is nearly time for your next one. Never take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
If you struggle to swallow capsules, a liquid version called Tamiflu oral suspension is available. Alternatively, you can open one 75 mg Tamiflu capsule and mix the contents with one teaspoon or less of a sweetened food product, such as a syrup or apple sauce, then consume the mixture immediately. See the packet instructions for further information.
It is important to finish your prescribed course of Tamiflu even if you are feeling better. For treating the flu, you will be prescribed a five day course of Tamiflu. For preventative use, your Tamiflu course will usually last ten days.
Tamiflu can cause side effects in some patients. If you experience any of the following side effects, stop taking Tamiflu and contact a doctor immediately:
Common side effects, affecting around 1 in 10 people, include:
Uncommon side effects (affecting up to 1 in 100 people) include:
The following rare side effects can affect up to 1 in 1000 people:
You should NOT take Tamiflu if you are allergic to oseltamivir or any of the other ingredients listed. Before taking Tamiflu, tell your doctor if:
Before starting Tamiflu, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following:
Before taking Tamiflu, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to decide if Tamiflu is right for you.
Drinking alcohol will not interfere with Tamiflu. However, if you have the flu you are more likely to recover quickly if you avoid drinking excessively.
Tamiflu has no effect on your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery.
If you can, you should get vaccinated against influenza once a year. Tamiflu is not the same as the flu vaccine. Even if you have been vaccinated, Tamiflu can be taken to treat symptoms of flu, or as a preventative if you have recently come into contact with someone who has the virus. Tamiflu will not change the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. You can find out if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS website.
Tamiflu can be used as a preventative during an influenza outbreak or if you have recently come into contact with someone who has the virus. When used for preventative purposes, Tamiflu is usually taken once daily for at least ten days.
Tamiflu is not an antibiotic and will not work against bacterial infections. It is an antiviral medicine used for the treatment and prevention of influenza.
Tamiflu is not a steroid, it is an antiviral medicine.
Tamiflu is an antiviral medicine used to treat the viral infection influenza. It cannot be used to treat non-viral or bacterial infections.
Tamiflu can be used at a lower dose to treat flu in children. Tamiflu can only be purchased from Dr Felix for use in adults over the age of 18 years old.
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