What is Tamiflu?
Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) is a prescription influenzainfection (flu) medicine used to treat adults, adolescents, and pediatric patients (1 year of age and older) who have symptoms that have started within a day or two. People who have been exposed to someone with the flu or to a flu outbreak in the community can take Tamiflu to reduce their chance of getting the flu after exposure. Tamflu can also be used to treat and prevent infections from Avian influenza (bird flu).
Tamiflu is made by Roche Laboratories, Inc., and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 27, 1999.
Tamiflu Recent News
On November 13, 2006, Roche Laboratories and the FDA notified healthcare professionals of revisions to Tamiflu's prescribing information. Revisions were made to the PRECAUTIONS/Neuropsychiatric Events and Patient Information sections. The changes reflect news reports (mostly from Japan) of self-injury and delirium associated with the use of Tamiflu in patients with influenza.
People with the flu (particularly children) may be at risk of self-injury and confusion shortly after taking Tamiflu, and should be monitored closely for signs of unusual behavior. Tamiflu patients should contact their healthcare professional immediately if they show any signs of usual behavior. Click herefor more information from the FDA.
Special Warnings Concerning Tamiflu
Tamiflu's safety and effectiveness have not yet been assessed in people with chronic heart or lung disease, kidney failure, or in people with underlying high-risk medical conditions.
General Precautions with Tamiflu
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Professional?
Tell your healthcare professional if you:
- are allergic to Tamiflu, to any of its ingredients in its liquid form, or to any other medications
- take or plan to take any other prescription and/or nonprescription medications, including vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products
- have ever taken Tamiflu to treat or prevent the flu
- are immunocompromised (have HIV or AIDS)
- are taking immunosuppressant medications such as azathioprine (lmuran), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), cancer chemotherapy medications, methotrexate (Rheumatrex), sirolimus (Rapamune), oral steroids, or tacrolimus (Prograf)
- have any type of heart, lung, or kidney disease
- are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
What Are the Side Effects Associated with Tamiflu?
Tamiflu may cause side effects. Tell your healthcare professional if any of the following symptoms are severe and/or persistent:
- stomach pain
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your healthcare professional immediately:
- rash, hives, or blisters on the skin
- swelling of the face or tongue
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Tamiflu - Getting Legal Help
While all medications have certain anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to make its products as reasonably safe as possible, and to inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held legally responsible if patients are injured as the result of inadequate warnings or the unreasonably dangerous nature of the drug, under a legal theory called "product liability."
If you or a loved one have experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while using Tamiflu, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. You may also wish to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and to protect your right to a legal remedy for any injuries caused by Tamiflu use.