oseltamivir, Tamiflu

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GENERIC NAME: oseltamivir

BRAND NAME: Tamiflu

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Oseltamivir is an oral medication used for treating and preventing the "flu." It is similar to zanamivir (Relenza). Oseltamivir suppresses and decreases the spread of influenza A and B viruses, the viruses responsible for the flu. It does this by blocking the action of neuraminidase, an enzyme produced by the viruses that enables the viruses to spread from infected cells to healthy cells. By preventing the spread of virus from cell to cell, the symptoms and duration of influenza infection are reduced. On average, oseltamivir reduces the duration of symptoms by one and a half days if treatment is started within forty-eight hours of the beginning of symptoms. The FDA approved oseltamivir in October 1999.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 30, 45, and 75 mg. Suspension: 6 mg/ml and 12 mg/ml

STORAGE: Oseltamivir should be stored at room temperature, 15C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Oseltamivir is used for the treatment of uncomplicated infections with the influenza viruses (A and B) in adults and children (including infants under age 1 who have had symptoms of the flu such as stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, fever, and body aches, for no longer than two days. It is not approved to prevent the flu in this age group.) within two days of the beginning of symptoms. Oseltamivir also is used for preventing the flu in healthy individuals 1 year and older, but it is not a substitute for flu vaccine. It also is used off-label for prevention and treatment of H1N1 (Swine Flu). During the H1N1 outbreak of 2009, the FDA approved emergency use of oseltamivir for children less than 1 year old.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/10/2013



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