- Flu Slideshow: 10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu
- Natural Cold & Flu Remedies Slideshow
- Take the Cold & Flu Quiz
- What is oseltamivir, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the side effects of oseltamivir?
- What is the dosage for oseltamivir?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with oseltamivir?
- Is oseltamivir safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about oseltamivir?
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?
Is oseltamivir available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for oseltamivir?
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:
What is the dosage for oseltamivir?
Oseltamivir is administered orally. For the best results, treatment should begin within 2 days of symptom onset or exposure.
- The recommended dose for treating adults with flu is 75 mg twice daily for five days.
- Children are treated with 30-75 mg twice daily for five days. Dosing depends on body weight.
- The adult dose for prevention of flu is 75 mg daily for 10 days. Children receive 30-75 mg once daily for 10 days.
Which drugs or supplements interact with oseltamivir?
Oseltamivir potentially may interfere with the action of the live attenuated flu vaccine that is given by injection because oseltamivir prevents viral replication. Therefore, live attenuated flu vaccine should not be administered within two weeks before or 48 hours after administration of oseltamivir.
Is oseltamivir safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends use of oseltamivir for treating flu in pregnant women.
The CDC recommends that women with flu who have recently given birth may be treated with oseltamivir. Oseltamivir is approved for use in children one year old and older, and available evidence suggests that the risk of adverse events is low when oseltamivir is used in children less than 1 year old.
What else should I know about oseltamivir?
What preparations of oseltamivir are available?
Capsules: 30, 45, and 75 mg. Suspension: 6 mg/ml and 12 mg/ml
How should I keep oseltamivir stored?
Oseltamivir should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Latest Cold and Flu News
Daily Health News
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is a drug prescribed for uncomplicated infections with "flu" (influenza) viruses including H1N1 influenza, in adults and children and infants under age 1 year. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) should be taken within two days of influenza symptoms. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) can be used for preventing the flu in healthy individuals; however, it should not be used as a substitute for the flu vaccine. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is recommended for pregnant women.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu
What natural remedies work for the flu and common cold? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea,...
Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
Aches? Pain? Fever? This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and...
Picture of Influenza Virus
The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. See a...
10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu
If you're sick with the flu, you'll want to know the best foods to make you feel better. Learn some of the soothing, nutritious...
Cold, Fever and Flu Treatment in Children: Medications and Home Remedies
Colds and fevers are some of the most common ailments in children. Learn common cold symptoms, treatment options, over the...
Related Disease Conditions
Novel H1N1 influenza A virus infection (swine flu) is an infection that generally is transferred from an infected pig to a human, however there have been reported cases where infection has occured with no contact with infected pigs. Symptoms of swine flu are "flu-like" and include fever, cough, and sore throat. Treatment is generally with the antibiotics oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Bird Flu (Avian Influenza, Avian Flu)
Bird flu (avian flu, avian influenza) infection in humans may result from contact with infected poultry. There is a vaccine to prevent human infection with the H5N1 strain of the avian flu virus.
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Antibiotic Resistance (Drug Resistance, Antimicrobial Resistance)
Antibiotics are medications used to kill or slow the growth of bacteria and some fungi. The definition of antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to change (mutate) and grow in the presence of a drug (an antibiotic) that would normally slow its growth or kill it. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi become harder to treat. Antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to longer hospital stays, higher treatment costs, and more deaths.
Pregnancy: Swine Flu and the H1N1 Vaccine
Pregnant and women who are breastfeeding are encouraged to receive the seasonal flu shot as well as the 2009 H1N1 influenza (swine flu) vaccine. H1N1 flu is treated with the medications Tamiflu® (oseltamivir) or Relenza® (zanamivir). Pregnant women should not receive the H1N1 attenuated nasal spray vaccine. Possible side effects of the H1N1 flu vaccine include muscle aches, fever, nausea, tiredness, or headache.
Treating the Flu in People with Health Risks
Certain portions of the population are at an increased risk of suffering serious complications from the flu. Some of these indviduals at risk include: those with asthma, COPD, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, HIV, AIDs, elderly, women who are pregnant, and children under the age of two. Contact your physician if you have the flu immediately so that you receive the proper care to prevent serious complications.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Tamiflu for Bird Flu?
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Swine Flu: One New York City Pediatrician's View
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Swine Flu Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Vaccination
- Flu: What to Do if You Get the Flu
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Influenza A (H3N2)v: What Goes Around Comes Around
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- New Drug on the Horizon for Flu's Ills?
- Study Debunks Link Between Tamiflu and Teen Suicide
- Antiviral Flu Drugs Safe in Mid-to-Late Pregnancy: Study
- Pregnant Women Benefit From Tamiflu at First Sign of Flu: Study
- It's Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot
- Tamiflu Cuts 1 Day Off Average Flu Bout, Study Finds
- Bad Flu Season Continues to Take Toll, Especially Among the Young and Old
- Flu Season May Not Have Peaked: CDC
- Flu Now Epidemic in U.S., With 15 Child Deaths Reported
- This Year's Flu Vaccine Less Effective Than Hoped
- Study Finds Many Flu Patients Not Treated Appropriately
- Report Questions Effectiveness of Flu Meds
- Tamiflu Saved Lives During Swine Flu Pandemic, Study Confirms
- Kids Hospitalized for Flu Need Antiviral Meds Right Away: Study
- Taiwan Woman 1st Human Infected With New Strain of Bird Flu
- Take Kids to Get Their Flu Shots Early, Experts Say
- China's Bird Flu's Drug Resistance Worries Experts
- Doubling Tamiflu Dose for Severe Flu Doesn't Help: Study
- New China Bird Flu May Be Resistant to Tamiflu
- Beware Fake Flu Treatments, FDA Warns
- FDA Approves Tamiflu for Infants
- Does Tamiflu Work? Questions Continue
- Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Yields Sobering Findings
- Rapid Flu Tests a Good First Step: Study
- Flu Season Off to Slow Start, So Far
- Cases of Tamiflu-Resistant Flu Concern Experts
- Flu Season Mild So Far, Says CDC
- Swine Flu Pandemic Over, WHO Declares
- Swine Flu Pandemic Hit Children the Hardest
- How to Handle the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic
- Swine Flu and the Elderly
- An American's H1N1 Swine Flu Experience in London: One Patient's Story
- Swine Flu: Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home
- When to Call the Doctor About Flu
- Drug Name Confusion: Preventing Medication Errors
- Bird Flu: Rapid Response Team To Combat Bird Flu
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
FDA Prescribing Information.