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.

Flu Pictures Slideshow: 10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu

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

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).

REFERENCES:

FDA Prescribing Information.

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

10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu in Pictures

Summary

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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See more info: oseltamivir on RxList
Reviewed on 12/29/2014
References
REFERENCES:

FDA Prescribing Information.

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