The American FDA has approved Tamiflu an oral anti-viral drug for the treatment of uncomplicated influenza in patients one year and older whose flu symptoms have not lasted more than two days.
Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that is used in the treatment and prophylaxis of both Influenza virus A and Influenza virus B infection. Like zanamivir, Tamiflu is a neuraminidase inhibitor. It acts as a transition-state analogue inhibitor of influenza neuraminidase, preventing progeny virions from emerging from infected cells.
With increasing fears about the potential for a new swine flu pandemic, Tamiflu has received substantial media attention. Governments, corporations, and even some private individuals are stockpiling the drug. Production is currently sufficient to meet the demand only for seasonal influenza and for government stockpiling. It is possible that shortages will recur in the event of an actual swine influenza pandemic.
Oseltamivir was widely used during the H5N1 avian influenza epidemic in Southeast Asia in 2005. In response to the epidemic, various governments - including those of the United Kingdom, Canada, United States and Australia - stockpiled quantities of oseltamivir in preparation for a possible pandemic. Though large, the quantities stockpiled would not have been sufficient to protect the entire population of these countries. It is possible that shortages could again be encountered if a global swine flu pandemic actually arises.
Quick Facts on Tamiflu:
Dosage of Tamiflu:
Oseltamivir is marketed by Roche under the trade name Tamiflu, as capsules (containing oseltamivir phosphate 98.5 mg equivalent to oseltamivir 75 mg) and as a powder for oral suspension (oseltamivir phosphate equivalent to oseltamivir 12 mg/mL).
For the Treatment of Flu
Adults and teens over 13 take 75mg Twice a day for 5 days.
The dosage for younger children who are 1 year and older depends on their weight:
For the Prevention of Flu
The most common side effects of Tamiflu are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and conjunctivitis (pinkeye). Sometimes people report getting headaches after taking Tamiflu. There are concerns that oseltamivir may cause dangerous psychological, neuropsychiatric side effects including self harm in some users. These dangerous side effects occur more commonly in children than in adults.