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- 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).
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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.
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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.
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