/ Influenza


Prepare yourself for flu season with oseltamivir, commonly known by its brand name, Tamiflu.

In this post, you'll find essential insights on:

  • What is oseltamivir (Tamiflu)?
  • What Does Tamiflu Treat?
  • How to tell the difference between the flu and other illnesses
  • Tamiflu for Adults vs Pediatrics
  • Pros and Cons of Tamiflu
  • Side Effects Your Doctor Didn't Tell You About
  • Who Should Have an Emergency Supply of Tamiflu

What is Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)?

Oseltamivir is an oral antiviral medication, not an antibiotic. Its main role is to inhibit the flu virus, preventing it from multiplying within your body and thereby speeding up your recovery while reducing the risk of complications.

What Does Tamiflu Treat?

Tamiflu specifically treats influenza types A and B. It is not effective against other viral infections like COVID-19 or Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

How Do I Know If It's the Flu?

Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. Differentiating the flu from other respiratory illnesses can be challenging, but there are some clues:

  • Flu: More likely to cause high fever and malaise.
  • RSV: Tends to cause wheezing and is notorious for causing serious illness in kids under age 5.
  • COVID-19: Often results in more serious respiratory illness in adults and can affect multiple systems of the body.

Additionally, if you've been exposed to someone diagnosed with the flu, it further increases the probability that your symptoms are due to the flu.

When to get a flu test: Consult a healthcare provider for a definitive diagnosis if you're at high risk for complications or if an alternate diagnosis is equally likely.
Treatment without a test: Immediate Tamiflu treatment without testing is often viable if symptoms and exposure history align. Always speak with a doctor first.

Tamiflu in Adults vs Pediatrics

Tamiflu is suitable for both adults and children over the age of 2 weeks. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized dosage and treatment duration.

Pros and Cons of Tamiflu

Pros: Taking Tamiflu within the first 48 hours can reduce the duration of flu symptoms by about 24 hours.
Cons: Side effects are possible, and it doesn't replace the need for symptom relief measures like acetaminophen (Tylenol).

The Side Effects Your Doctor Didn't Tell You About

Be aware of potential side effects like nausea, vomiting, and in rare instances, psychological effects such as confusion or abnormal behavior. While rare, there have been reports of healthy people becoming psychotic after taking Tamiflu. You should be aware these side effects exist.

Who Should Have an Emergency Supply of Tamiflu?

An emergency supply of Tamiflu is most beneficial for:

  • Residents of areas without easy access to healthcare
  • Travelers during flu season
  • High-risk individuals
  • Households with immunocompromised members

Don't get caught off guard this flu season. Consider including Tamiflu in your Duration Health emergency medical kit.