Generic Name: oseltamivir (OH-sel-TAM-i-vir)
Brand Name: Tamiflu
Tamiflu is used for:
Treating influenza, including H1N1 influenza (swine flu), in patients 2 weeks old and older who have had symptoms for no more than 2 days. It may also be used to prevent influenza in patients 1 year old and older.
Tamiflu is an antiviral. It works by stopping the flu virus from reproducing within the body.
Do NOT use Tamiflu if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Tamiflu
- you are going to have an intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine within the next 2 days or you have had such a vaccine within the past 2 weeks
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Tamiflu:
Some medical conditions may interact with Tamiflu. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have kidney problems, liver problems, heart problems, breathing problems, or mood or mental problems
- if you have a history of fructose (fruit sugar) intolerance
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Tamiflu. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine because its effectiveness may be decreased by Tamiflu
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or medicines for arrhythmias (eg, sotalol) because the risk of their side effects may be increased with Tamiflu
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Tamiflu may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Tamiflu:
Use Tamiflu as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with Tamiflu. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Take Tamiflu by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- If you are taking Tamiflu to treat the flu, start taking it as soon as possible from when you begin noticing flu symptoms.
- If you are using Tamiflu to prevent the flu, start taking it as soon as possible, as directed by your doctor.
- If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and mix the contents with a sweetened liquid such as chocolate syrup, caramel topping, corn syrup, or light brown sugar (dissolved in water) as directed by your doctor.
- Take Tamiflu on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- To clear up your infection completely, take Tamiflu for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
- Continue to take Tamiflu even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you 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 dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Tamiflu.
Important safety information:
- Tamiflu is effective against influenza types A (including H1N1 influenza [swine flu]) and B.
- Tamiflu may cause dizziness or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Tamiflu with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Tamiflu may cause dizziness or light-headedness; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
- Tamiflu will not prevent you from spreading influenza to others.
- Tamiflu works only against influenza types A and B; it does not treat bacterial or other viral infections.
- Patients with flu who take Tamiflu may have an increased risk of nervous system problems and abnormal behavior. The risk may be greater in children. Contact your doctor if you notice confusion, hallucinations, speech problems, seizures, tremors, or any other unusual behavioral changes.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Tamiflu before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Tell your doctor that you take Tamiflu before you receive any vaccines, including the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine.
- Tamiflu is not a substitute for a flu vaccine. Continue to get an annual flu shot if your doctor has recommended it.
- If your symptoms do not get better within a few days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
- Tamiflu should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 weeks old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Tamiflu while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Tamiflu, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of Tamiflu:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; pain or tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue); abnormal behavior; confusion; hallucinations; mood or mental changes; mouth blisters or sores; reddened, blistered, peeling, or swollen skin; seizures; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; speech problems; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, persistent sore throat); or tremors.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include nausea or vomiting.Proper storage of Tamiflu:
Store Tamiflu at room temperature. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Tamiflu out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Tamiflu, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Tamiflu is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Tamiflu or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Tamiflu. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Tamiflu. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Tamiflu.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about Tamiflu (oseltamivir)
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- Drug class: neuraminidase inhibitors