Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is an antiviral medication indicated for the treatment of influenza in certain patients. Farmington Drugs & Medical Supplies provides patients who need Tamiflu prescriptions at our home pharmacy or via free local deliveries for prescription refills.
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What is Tamiflu and how does Tamiflu work? Tamiflu belongs to a class of medications known as influenza neuraminidase inhibitors. Tamiflu is thought to attack the influenza virus that causes the flu as opposed to just masking symptoms. The main Tamiflu ingredient is oseltamivir, an antiviral medication. Tamiflu is indicated for the treatment of influenza in patients 1 year and older who have been symptomatic for no more than 2 days and for prophylaxis of influenza in patients 1 year and older which is slightly different than the indications for Xofluza. The efficacy of Tamiflu in people who begin therapy after 48 hours of symptoms is not known.
Tamiflu – Side Effects
Common side effects of Tamiflu include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. Another described side effect of Tamiflu is increased confusion or abnormal behavior, particularly in pediatric patients. Anyone with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to Tamiflu should not use it. It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Tamiflu. There is no evidence that Tamiflu has any efficacy on anything except influenza viruses types A and B and Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) should not be considered a substitute for the influenza vaccination. Because influenza virus patterns change over time, current information needs to be considered when using Tamiflu. Tamiflu is not an antibiotic.
Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is not available over-the-counter (OTC) as it is a prescription medication in the United States. Tamiflu’s cost is roughly $5 per Tamiflu 75 mg capsule at many pharmacies but the price of Tamiflu will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Tamiflu coupons are available at times from the manufacturer or other sources. Some insurance plans may also cover the cost of a Tamiflu prescription when indicated and part of the insurance plan coverage. A generic Tamiflu was approved by the FDA in 2016. Farmington Drugs & Medical Supplies takes pride in offering the most cost efficient services and prescriptions to our patients.
Tamiflu capsules are available in 30mg, 45mg and 75mg doses. Tamiflu capsules are hard gelatin capsules that are light yellow or grey in color. Tamiflu oral suspension is formed from a white powder of 300mg oseltamivir base which is concentrated to 12mg/mL and has a tutti-frutti flavor. Tamiflu, when used in the treatment of influenza, is often prescribed as a twice daily medication for a period of 5 days but the regimen depends on the judgement of the prescribing medical provider. Patients who are renally impaired may require Tamiflu dosing adjustments. Oseltamivir phosphate is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration and is converted in by esterases in the liver to oseltamivir carboxylate. There is no significant effect on peak plasma concentrations if oseltamivir is taken with food. Resistance to oseltamivir by influenza A viruses has been observed.
Is Tamiflu an Antibiotic?
Many people wonder if Tamiflu is an antibiotic. The answer is no. Tamiflu is an antiviral medication which works against viruses. Antibiotic medications generally work against bacteria.
Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) – Patient Information
This webpage contains important information about TAMIFLU (TAM-ih-flew). Read it well before you begin treatment. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare professional about your medical condition or your treatment. This webpage does not list all the benefits and risks of TAMIFLU. If you have any questions about TAMIFLU, ask your healthcare professional. Only your healthcare professional can determine if TAMIFLU is right for you.
What is TAMIFLU?
TAMIFLU attacks the influenza virus and stops it from spreading inside your body.
TAMIFLU treats flu at its source, by attacking the virus that causes the flu, rather than simply masking symptoms.
TAMIFLU is for treating adults and children age 1 and older with the flu whose flu symptoms started within the last day or two. TAMIFLU can also reduce the chance of getting the flu in people age 1 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.
What is “Flu”?
“The flu” is an infection caused by the influenza virus. Flu symptoms include fever (usually 100°F to 103°F in adults, and sometimes higher in children) and problems such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle aches, fever, and extreme tiredness. Many people use the term “flu” to mean any combination of these symptoms, such as the common cold, but true influenza infection is often worse and may last longer than a cold.
Flu outbreaks happen about once a year, usually in the winter, when the influenza virus spreads widely in the community. Outside of those outbreaks, only a very tiny number of respiratory infections are caused by the influenza virus.
Should I get a flu shot?
TAMIFLU is not a substitute for a flu vaccination. You should continue to get a flu vaccination every year, according to your healthcare professional’s advice.
Who should not take TAMIFLU?
Do not take TAMIFLU if you are allergic to the main ingredient, oseltamivir phosphate, or to any other ingredients of TAMIFLU. Before starting treatment, make sure your healthcare professional knows if you take any other medicines, or are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. TAMIFLU is normally not recommended for use during pregnancy or nursing, as the effects on the unborn child or nursing infant are unknown. TAMIFLU is not recommended for use in children younger than 1 year of age.
Tell your healthcare professional if you have any type of kidney disease, heart disease, respiratory disease, or any serious health condition.
TAMIFLU for Oral Suspension contains sorbitol. Sorbitol may cause upset stomach and diarrhea in patients with a family history of fructose intolerance.
How should I take TAMIFLU?
It is important that you begin your treatment with TAMIFLU as soon as possible from the first appearance of your flu symptoms or soon after you are exposed to the flu. If you feel worse or develop new symptoms during treatment with TAMIFLU, or if your flu symptoms do not start to get better, you should contact your healthcare professional.
If you have the flu: Take TAMIFLU as prescribed. You should complete the entire treatment of 10 doses (capsules or suspension), even if you feel better.
To prevent the flu: If someone in your home has the flu, take TAMIFLU once a day for as long as prescribed. You can take TAMIFLU for up to 6 weeks if you are exposed to the flu because of an outbreak in your community. Follow your healthcare professional’s advice on how long to take TAMIFLU.
You can take TAMIFLU with food or without food. There is less chance of stomach upset if you take it with a light snack, milk, or a meal.
If you are taking TAMIFLU for Oral Suspension, your pharmacist will give you a dosing dispenser marked with three possible doses. Follow your healthcare professional’s instructions on which dose to take or how to combine them for the proper dose for you. In order to be sure you receive the proper dose, it is important that you use the dispenser provided. Review the instructions below on how to use the dispenser and ask your pharmacist if you have any questions. If you lose or damage the dispenser and cannot use it, contact your healthcare professional or pharmacist for advice on the proper dose.
If TAMIFLU for Oral Suspension is not available, your healthcare provider may instruct you to open TAMIFLU Capsules and mix the contents with sweetened liquids such as regular or sugar-free chocolate syrup. Please follow the dosing instructions.
If you forget to take your medicine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, except if it is 2 hours or less before your next dose. Then continue to take TAMIFLU at the usual times. Do not take 2 doses at a time to make up for a missed dose. If you miss several doses, tell your healthcare professional and follow the advice given to you.
What are the possible side effects of TAMIFLU?
The most common side effects of TAMIFLU are nausea and vomiting. These are usually mild to moderate. They usually happen in the first 2 days of treatment. Taking TAMIFLU with food may reduce the chance of getting these side effects.
If you develop an allergic reaction or severe rash, stop taking TAMIFLU and contact your healthcare professional.
People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior early during their illness. These events may occur shortly after beginning TAMIFLU or may occur when flu is not treated. These events are uncommon but may result in accidental injury to the patient. Therefore, patients should be observed for signs of unusual behavior and a healthcare professional should be contacted immediately if the patient shows any signs of unusual behavior.
Before taking TAMIFLU, please let your healthcare provider know if you have received nasally administered influenza virus vaccine during the past two weeks.
If you notice any side effects not mentioned in this leaflet, or if you have any concerns about the side effects you get, tell your healthcare professional.
How and where should I store TAMIFLU?
TAMIFLU Capsules should be stored at room temperature, 77°F (25°C) and kept in a dry place. Keep this medication out of reach of children.
TAMIFLU for Oral Suspension should be stored under refrigeration for up to 17 days at 36° to 46°F (2° to 8°C). Do not freeze. Alternatively, store at room temperature for up to 10 days.
General advice about prescription medicines:
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use TAMIFLU for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give TAMIFLU to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may not be right for them.
This leaflet summarizes the most important information about TAMIFLU. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare professional. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare professional for information about TAMIFLU that is written for health professionals.
Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.