oseltamivir, Tamiflu

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is oseltamivir, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for oseltamivir?

Tamiflu

Is oseltamivir available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for oseltamivir?

Yes

What are the side effects of oseltamivir?

The most frequent side effects of oseltamivir are:

Administering oseltamivir after meals helps reduce nausea.

Other reported adverse events include:

Quick Guide10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu in Pictures

10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu in Pictures
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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