Tamiflu is an antiviral medication that blocks the actions of influenza virus types A and B in your body.
Tamiflu is used to treat flu symptoms caused by influenza virus in patients who have had symptoms for less than 2 days. Tamiflu may also be given to prevent influenza in people who may be exposed but do not yet have symptoms. It will not treat the common cold.
Tamiflu may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before using Tamiflu
Tamiflu should not be used in place of getting a yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu shot to help protect you each year from new strains of influenza virus.
You should not use Tamiflu if you are allergic to oseltamivir.
Before taking Tamiflu, tell your doctor if you have used a nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) within the past 2 weeks, or if you have:
- kidney disease;
- heart disease;
- lung disease;
- a condition causing swelling or disorder of the brain; or
- any other serious disease or health problem.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Tamiflu is harmful to an unborn baby. However, not receiving this medication to prevent influenza could be harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that Tamiflu could prevent. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive Tamiflu , especially if you have a high risk of infection with H1N1 influenza (also called “swine” flu). It is not known whether oseltamivir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give this medication to a child younger than 1 year old.
Tamiflu side effects
Stop using Tamiflu and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; a red and blistering or peeling skin rash. Some people using oseltamivir have had rare side effects of sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. These symptoms have occurred most often in children. It is not known whether Tamiflu was the exact cause of these symptoms. However, anyone using this medicine should be watched closely for signs of confusion or unusual behavior. Call a doctor at once if you or the child using Tamiflu has any of these symptoms.
Less serious Tamiflu side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
- dizziness, headache;
- eye redness or discomfort;
- sleep problems (insomnia); or
- cough or other respiratory symptoms.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.