Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) is a medicine used to treat the symptoms of influenza. It can also be taken as a preventative during a flu outbreak, or if the patient has been in contact with someone who has the flu.
Tamiflu contains the active ingredient oseltamivir, an antiviral medication which works by stopping the spread of the flu virus in the the body. It helps alleviate symptoms such as congested or runny nose, sore throat, cough, muscle and joint aches, headache, fever and chills, and speeds up recovery time by 1 to 2 days.
If taken within 48 hours of noticing flu-like symptoms, Tamiflu usually begins to alleviate symptoms within 2 days.
Tamiflu is recognised by the WHO and the CDC as effective in the treatment and prevention of influenza.
Influenza is most contagious during the first 5 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 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).
Always take Tamiflu as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist. For treating flu, take Tamiflu twice daily for 5 days. For preventing flu, take Tamiflu once daily for 10 days. Swallow the capsule whole with water. Tamiflu can be taken with or without food, although it can cause some nausea or sickness if taken on an empty stomach. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as your 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 make liquid Tamiflu at home by splitting open 1 x 75 mg capsule and mixing the contents with one teaspoon or less of a sweetened food product, such as a syrup or sauce. See packet instructions for further information.
It is important to finish your prescribed course of Tamiflu even if you are feeling better. For treating flu, you will be prescribed a 5-day course. For preventative use, your course will usually continue for 10 days.
Like all medications, Tamiflu can have side effects in some patients. If you experience any of the following rare but serious side effects, stop taking Tamiflu and contact a doctor immediately:
Convulsions, delirium and altered level of consciousness
Confusion or abnormal behaviour
Delusions, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety and nightmares
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 1 000 people:
Do NOT take Tamiflu if you are allergic to oseltamivir or any of the other ingredients of this medication. Before taking Tamiflu, tell your doctor if:
Before starting Tamiflu, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. In particular, 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, think you might be pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant. Your doctor will be able to decide if Tamiflu is right for you.
Drinking alcohol will not interfere with Tamiflu. However, if you have 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.
It is recommended to be vaccinated against influenza once a year, particularly in the colder months. Tamiflu can be taken in addition to treat symptoms of flu, or in a preventative capacity if you have recently come into contact with someone who has the virus. Tamiflu will not change the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.
Certain people are more likely to develop serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, and are therefore eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS once a year. You are eligible for the free vaccine if you are over the age of 65, pregnant, living in a long-stay residential care home, receive a carer’s allowance or have certain medical conditions. The vaccine is also free for children of certain ages. You can find out if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS website.
Tamiflu can be used in a preventative capacity in the event of a local outbreak of influenza, of 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 10 days.
Tamiflu is not an antibiotic and will not work against bacterial infections. It is an antiviral used for the treatment and prevention of influenza.
Tamiflu is not a steroid, it is an antiviral medication.
Tamiflu is an antiviral medication used to treat the viral infection influenza. It cannot be used to treat non-viral infection 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.
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