Tamiflu is a medication used to treat and prevent flu. It is available as a standard capsule, or an oral suspension powder. When applied during the initial stages of an infection, it can help to reduce the scale of symptoms, and expedite the user’s recovery. It can also be used as a precautionary measure to fend off infection, if taken after being exposed to the virus. Tamiflu Hard Capsules and Tamiflu Oral Suspension are made by Roche.
Influenza, known colloquially as the flu, is a virus which will affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. It tends to be a seasonal condition, striking most often during winter, although it can occur during warmer months too. The virus is spread most typically via airborne means. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks, they leave tiny droplets in the air, which can harbor the virus for as long as 24 hours.
If these are breathed in by someone else, they may pick up the infection and pass it on via the same method, and so on. These droplets can also settle and survive for a time on surfaces and objects, and can thereby be transferred from one person to another through indirect physical contact.
The symptoms of flu are wide-ranging and may vary. More common among these include a high temperature or fever, coughing and sneezing, a blocked or runny nose, headache, aching muscles, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. The combination of these symptoms may also cause someone with the flu to feel excessively tired and lethargic.
Although it can be a very unpleasant experience and cause disruption to your daily life, most people will naturally rid themselves of the infection within one or two weeks. However, those with a weak immune system or an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or respiratory problems, may be susceptible to complications, and require help fighting infection.
Treatment for flu can be prescribed in the form of antiviral medication. One such product is Tamiflu, which contains oseltamivir as its functioning ingredient. This works by interfering with the replication process of viral cells once they are in the body. To reproduce and spread, the virus utilises an enzyme, called neuraminidase, which allows it to transport itself and infect other cells.
Oseltamivir works by joining with this enzyme and inhibiting its function. This stops the growth of the virus, and helps to localise the infection, enabling the immune system to fight it off.
Please note that we do not sell this product through our site. We recommend you see your GP to find out more about flu prevention options available.
When using Tamiflu, it is crucial to do so in the manner directed by your prescriber. You should also familiarise yourself with the patient information leaflet prior to beginning the course. These measures will help you to maximise the effectiveness of the medication and limit the likelihood of side effects.
- Follow the directions as prescribed.
- If being used to treat active flu, the course should be commenced within 48 hours of you first noticing symptoms.
- The recommended dose for this purpose is one Tamiflu Hard Capsule (75mg) or 12.5ml of Tamiflu Oral Suspension powder, taken twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, for five days.
- When used for the prevention of flu after coming into close contact with an infected person, the recommended course is one capsule or 12.5ml of oral suspension powder, taken once daily for 10 days.
- In cases where infection has occurred in the immediate community, your treatment may last longer. You will be instructed by your doctor accordingly.
- Detailed instructions on how to use the oral suspension version can be found in the leaflet.
- Do not exceed the prescribed dose.
- You should not make up for a missed dose with a double dose. If you forget to take your medication, do so as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and carry on the course as before.
- It is not uncommon to feel sick after taking this drug for the first time, but you can reduce this effect by taking it with food.
These directions are only a summary. Consult those in the leaflet supplied before use.
You should always be aware of the side effects your treatment may cause prior to use, as some may necessitate immediate advice from a medical professional. If you notice signs of any of the following, let your doctor know as soon as possible: liver dysfunction; an allergic reaction; severe skin problems; gastrointestinal bleeding; or neuropsychiatric disorders. More details can be found in the patient information leaflet.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Headache, feeling or being sick.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Bronchitis, cold sores, cough, fever, pain, dizziness, runny nose, insomnia, sore throat, stomach ache, drowsiness, feeling bloated, stomach upset, or infections of the respiratory tract.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Convulsions, irregular heartbeat, liver dysfunction or skin reactions.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Thrombocytopenia or visual disturbances.
This is not a complete list of the side effects associated with this drug. Refer to the leaflet supplied for more information.
Taking it with other medicines
Let your prescriber know if you are using any other medicinal products during consultation. Tamiflu may interact with the following: chlorpropamide; methotrexate; phenylbutazone; or probenecid.
Conditions to look out for
Disclose your medical history to your doctor before using this item. It may not be suitable for you if you have or have ever had: kidney problems; a severe condition which may require immediate hospitalisation; a compromised immune system; chronic heart disease; or respiratory disease.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Consult your doctor before taking this medication if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
Driving and using machinery
It is not likely that Tamiflu will inhibit your capacity to drive or use machinery.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes, as it is not thought to interact with alcohol. However, you should avoid drinking alcohol if you are experiencing the onset of flu, as doing so may exacerbate your condition.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. It is unlikely that your ability to drive will be affected. But, if you notice any side effects which could cause you problems while driving, do not drive and notify your doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
Only use Tamiflu while pregnant or breastfeeding if your doctor thinks you need it.
How should I store it?
Do not store either product above 25°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Tamiflu hard capsules contain: oseltamivir, pregelatinised starch, talc, sodium stearyl fumarate, povidone, croscarmellose sodium, gelatin, yellow iron oxide (E172), red iron oxide (E172), black iron oxide (E172) titanium dioxide (E171), shellac (E904), titanium dioxide (E171) FD and C Blue 2 (indigo carmine E132).
In Tamiflu Oral Suspension powder are the following ingredients: oseltamivir, sorbitol (E420), sodium dihydrogen citrate (E331[a]), xanthan gum (E415), sodium benzoate (E211), saccharin sodium (E954), titanium dioxide (E171) and tutti frutti flavour (including maltodextrins [maize], propylene glycol, arabic gum E414 and natural identical flavouring substances [mainly consisting of banana, pineapple and peach flavour]).
Do not use these items if you are allergic to any containing ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You can only buy this treatment on prescription, as a doctor will need to make sure beforehand that it is safe for you to use.
Is it right for me?
Speak to your GP to find out more about the different flu prevention methods available. They will be able to suggest a treatment which suits your medical profile.
Please note we do not offer this medication through our site.
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