Tamiflu in the treatment of flu

Tamiflu in the treatment of flu

Tamiflu in the treatment of flu – In recent times, the number of patients with seasonal flu has increased dramatically, especially in the elderly and children. Many people rushed to buy Tamiflu and even stored it in the house to use when needed because Tamiflu was thought to be a “miracle” that could cure the flu quickly. Tamiflu quickly spread, making this drug suddenly become extremely scarce, even being “priced up” many times over. However,  is Tamiflu really a “miracle” to treat the flu as many people think?


What is the flu and its symptoms?


Flu is an infection with the flu virus in the respiratory tract that causes symptoms such as fever, body aches, cough, and sore throat. The cough is usually severe and prolonged and may be accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), especially in children. The flu can manifest only with the common cold symptoms listed above, but it can also worsen into life-threatening pneumonia or other dangerous complications.


How to treat the flu?


Most people with the flu recover on their own in about 1 to 2 weeks without treatment needed. However, some serious complications of the flu can emerge and require medical treatment.

Treatment for the flu includes symptomatic treatment and treatment with specific antiviral drugs. Not all people with the flu need antiviral treatment, but only those with risk factors or notable medical conditions or complications should take medication. Therefore, whether using antiviral drugs for patients or not depends on the case of a patient.


Indications and contraindications of Tamiflu?


Tamiflu is indicated for the treatment of influenza in adults and children including term infants (with influenza virus type A and type B). Tamiflu is also used to prevent influenza in adults and children 1 year of age and older. However, this medication does not replace vaccination with the appropriate influenza vaccine.


Tamiflu drug contraindicated to use in cases of hypersensitivity to Oseltamivir phosphate or any ingredient of the drug.


Is Tamiflu the only antiviral used to treat the flu?


Tamiflu is not the only antiviral for influenza. Some other antivirals are indicated to treat influenza such as Relenza (HC: zanamivir), Rapivab (HC: peramivir), and Xofluza (HC: baloxavir). Currently, in Vietnam, Tamiflu and Relenza are two drugs licensed for circulation to treat influenza. The choice of drugs, drug doses to treat diseases depends on the type of virus causing the disease and depends on the decisions and considerations of the treating doctor to the specific case.


Tamiflu in the treatment of flu. How to use Tamiflu? Should the drug be taken before or after meals?


Tamiflu is available in hard capsules and suspensions for patients of different ages. The dosage of the drug is based on diagnosis, drug purpose, age, and weight of the patient. Tamiflu is a prescribed drug and is used only under the prescription of a doctor.


Patients are recommended to swallow a whole hard capsule while taking the drug or taking the drug suspension at a dose prescribed by a doctor. In cases where the tablets cannot be swallowed and there is no substitute suspension, the patient can open the capsule and take the powder inside with a small amount of sweet liquid to reduce the taste of the drug when drinking.


The absorption of the drug is not affected by food, so the patient can take the drug before or after eating. However, it should be taken with meals as it can help reduce nausea and vomiting side effects of the medication.


What are the common side effects of Tamiflu in the treatment of flu & others?


The most common side effects of Tamiflu were nausea, vomiting, and headache. Usually, nausea and vomiting are not serious and only occur within the first 2 days of treatment. Taking Tamiflu with meals may help reduce this side effect.


In addition, there may also be other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue while taking the drug. Allergic reactions such as a skin rash are rare; If redness occurs after taking the drug, the patient should stop the drug and seek medical attention immediately.


“Not in all cases need to use Tamiflu!”


That is confirmed by Mrs. Bui Thi Den – Head of Tropical Diseases – Center for Obstetrics and Pediatrics, Phu Tho Provincial General Hospital. According to the doctor, Tamiflu works to reduce the amount of influenza virus in the nose and throat areas of the patient, helping to reduce the symptoms of the disease. However, Tamiflu is only used in a number of cases such as severe flu with complications, influenza with risk factors such as immunodeficient patients, cancer patients, the elderly over 65, children under 5 years old, malnutrition, obesity, bronchial asthma, or congenital or acquired immunodeficiency, people with chronic illnesses.


In particular, for children, the use of Tamiflu should be very cautious depending on each age, weight, and condition of different children, Tamiflu is used with different doses. However, currently, Tamiflu does not have a spray or syrup form, but only in the form of tablets, the exact division of doses to use is very difficult without the instructions and instructions of the doctor. More seriously, the rampant use, incorrectly enough, can lead to drug-resistant and easily spread drug-resistant viruses, making it difficult to treat the disease in the future.


Also according to Dr. Den, when entering the body, Tamiflu only reduces the penetration of the flu virus but does not work to destroy them. Therefore, this drug is only effective within the first 48 hours when the new flu virus enters the body and the patient develops the first symptoms such as fever, clear runny nose. After that, the drug no longer worked because the virus was present all over the body.


Drug interactions to note when taking Tamiflu?


In general, Tamiflu has little interaction with other drugs. Drugs that have been reported to interact with Probenecid and Dichlorphenamide (which increase the concentration of the active metabolite of Oseltamivir in the blood). It should be noted when getting flu vaccines while taking Tamiflu due to concerns that antiviral drugs will inactivate these vaccines.


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