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Tamiflu

 
  Generic Name: Oseltamivir (os el TAM ih veer)
 
  Brand Names: Tamiflu  
     
   
 

What is Tamiflu?

Tamiflu is an antiviral medication that blocks the actions of influenza virus types A and B in your body.

Tamiflu is used to treat flu symptoms caused by influenza virus in patients who have had symptoms for less than 2 days. Tamiflu may also be given to prevent influenza in people who may be exposed but do not yet have symptoms. It will not treat the common cold.

Tamiflu may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Tamiflu

Tamiflu is used to treat flu symptoms caused by influenza virus in patients who have had symptoms for less than 2 days. Tamiflu may also be given to prevent influenza in people who may be exposed but do not yet have symptoms. Oseltamivir will not treat the common cold.

Before taking Tamiflu, tell your doctor if you have received a nasal flu vaccine within the past 2 weeks, or if you have kidney disease, heart disease, lung disease, or any other serious disease or health problem. Also tell your doctor if you have any condition causing swelling or disorder of the brain.

Treatment with Tamiflu should start as soon as possible when flu symptoms appear, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose.

Take Tamiflu for as many days as it has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated. Some people using this medicine have had rare side effects of sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. These symptoms have occurred most often in children. It is not known whether Tamiflu was the exact cause of these symptoms. However, anyone using this medicine should be watched closely for signs of confusion or unusual behavior. Call a doctor at once if you or the child using Tamiflu has any of these symptoms. Oseltamivir should not be used in place of getting a yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu shot to help protect you each year from new strains of influenza virus.

Before using Tamiflu

Tamiflu should not be used in place of getting a yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu shot to help protect you each year from new strains of influenza virus.

You should not use Tamiflu if you are allergic to oseltamivir.

Before taking Tamiflu, tell your doctor if you have used a nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) within the past 2 weeks, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • heart disease;

  • lung disease;

  • a condition causing swelling or disorder of the brain; or

  • any other serious disease or health problem.

Vaccines may be harmful to an unborn baby and generally should not be given to a pregnant woman. However, not vaccinating the mother could be more harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that this vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with H1N1 influenza (also called "swine" flu). It is not known whether oseltamivir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 1 year old.

How should I take Tamiflu?

Take Tamiflu exactly as your doctor has prescribed it for you. Do not take more of the medication than recommended. Do not take Tamiflu for longer than your doctor has prescribed.

Treatment with Tamiflu should start as soon as possible when flu symptoms appear, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose.

Take the capsule with a full glass of water. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with the syringe provided with the medicine. Do not measure the medicine with a regular table spoon. If you do not have the syringe or another medicine dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

You may take Tamiflu with or without food. If the medicine upsets your stomach, it may help to take it with food or milk.

To treat flu symptoms: Take every 12 hours for 5 days.

To prevent flu symptoms: Take every 24 hours for 10 days or as prescribed. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Use this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse. Store the capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store Tamiflu liquid in the refrigerator but do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 10 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 2 hours away, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea and vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking Tamiflu?

Do not use a nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) within 48 hours after taking Tamiflu. This medicine may interfere with the drug action of FluMist, making the vaccine less effective. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Tamiflu side effects

Stop using Tamiflu and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; a red and blistering or peeling skin rash. Some people using oseltamivir have had rare side effects of sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. These symptoms have occurred most often in children. It is not known whether Tamiflu was the exact cause of these symptoms. However, anyone using this medicine should be watched closely for signs of confusion or unusual behavior. Call a doctor at once if you or the child using Tamiflu has any of these symptoms.

Less serious Tamiflu side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • dizziness, headache;

  • nosebleed;

  • eye redness or discomfort;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • cough or other respiratory symptoms.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

What other drugs will affect Tamiflu?

There may be other that can interact with Tamiflu. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Tamiflu.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2009 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 06/02/2009 12:15:04 PM.
 
 
 
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