Medical symbolDirectory of Drugs: Prescription symbol Oseltamivir phosphate - Tamiflu




What is Tamiflu used for?

Tamiflu is for treating adults, adolescents, and pediatric patients 1year of age and older with the flu whose flu symptoms started within the last day or two.  Tamiflu is also used to reduce the chance of getting the flu in people aged 1 year and older who have a higher chance of getting the flu because they spend time with someone who has the flu. Tamiflu can also reduce the chance of getting the flu if there is a flu outbreak in the community. The use of Tamiflu to reduce the chance of getting flu has been studied up to 42 days in adults and up to 10 days in children.

Special Warnings Concerning Tamiflu:

  • Tamiflu’s safety and effectiveness have not been determined in people with chronic heart or lung disease, kidney failure, or in people with high-risk underlying medical conditions.
  • There have been reports (mostly from Japan) since Tamiflu became available of patients causing self-injury or experiencing delirium (confusion, hallucinations, speech problems) while using Tamiflu.  The reports were mostly in children.  It is not known whether the cause of these reports is due to Tamiflu use.  Patients should be monitored for signs of abnormal behavior while taking Tamiflu.

General Precautions with Tamiflu: 

  • Tamiflu has not been shown to treat flu-like illnesses caused by any virus other than influenza A and B (e.g., stomach flu, common cold, or other respiratory illnesses not caused by influenza).
  • Other kinds of infections can appear like influenza or occur along with influenza, and need different types of treatment.  Contact your healthcare provider if you feel worse or develop new symptoms during or after treatment, or if your influenza symptoms do not start to get better.
  • Taking Tamiflu should not affect your decision to have an annual influenza vaccination.
  • The safety and efficacy of repeated courses of treatment have not been established.
  • Tamiflu is not indicated for treatment or prevention of the flu in patients less than 1 year of age.

What should I tell my doctor or healthcare provider?

Tell your doctor or healthcare provider if you:

  • are taking any other medications
  • have any type of kidney disease
  • are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding

What are some possible side effects of Tamiflu? (This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Tamiflu. Your healthcare provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)  

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • bronchitis
  • stomach pain
  • dizziness
  • headache

Date Approved:  October 27, 1999; Date Updated: December 12, 2006


© 2007 Directory of Drugs - reference guide to drugs - All rights reserved - Legal Notice