Habit forming? No
Prescription needed? Yes
Available as generic? No
Drug class: Anti-Influenza

Tamiflu Shortens the duration of influenza types A and B. It is best to start using this medicine within 2 days of onset of symptoms.

- Used to help prevent influenza types A and B.

How to take TAMIFLU:

- Capsule: Swallow with liquid. If you can't swallow Tamiflu whole, open capsule and take with liquid or food.

- Oral solution: Take Tamiflu as directed on label.

- Powder: Tamiflu medication is to be used with a device called a Diskhaler. Read and carefully follow the instructions provided with the device. If you are still unsure, consult your pharmacist for detailed instructions.

When to take TAMIFLU:

- For oseltamivir, take two doses daily at the same times.

- For zanamivir, take two doses on the first day separated by 2 hours and then two doses daily for 5 days separated by 12 hours.

If you forget a TAMIFLU dose:

- Take or use the missed dose as soon as possible. You can use your next dose 2 hours after taking the missed dose, then return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

What TAMIFLU does:

- Inhibits the spread of the virus by preventing release of the cells within the respiratory tract.

Time lapse before TAMIFLU works:

- Begins in 2 to 3 days.

Don't take TAMIFLU with:

- Any other medicine or any dietary supplement without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

SYMPTOMS: There has been very little experience with overdose; however, relatively large doses have resulted in nausea and vomiting.


Hives, rash, intense itching, faintness soon after a dose (anaphylaxis).

Common TAMIFLU Side Effects:

Cough, fever, skin rash, swelling (of face, fingers, feet and/or lower legs).
Back pain, dizziness, gas, headache, nausea, and heartburn, burning in throat, sleeplessness, stuffy or runny nose.

Infrequent TAMIFLU Side Effects:

Bloody or tarry stools, chills, congestion, diarrhea. Fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle pains, shortness of breath, severe stomach pain, weight gain, vomiting.  Anxiety, vision changes, noises in ears, change in sense of taste, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, constipation, depression, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, numbness in fingers or toss, sleepiness.

Rare TAMIFLU Side Effects:

Delirium, hallucinations, abnormal behavior.

Don't take TAMIFLU if:

- You are allergic to oseltamivir or zanamivir.

Before you start TAMIFLU, consult your doctor if:

- You have a history of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (zanamivir).  You have kidney disease (oseltamivir).

Over age 60:

- Adverse reactions and Tamiflu side effects may be more frequent and severe than in younger persons.


- Decide with your doctor whether drug benefits justify risk to unborn child.


- It is unknown if oseltamivir or zanamivir pass into milk.

- Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine.

- Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:

- Oseltamivir is approved for children over age 1 for influenza treatment and prevention. Do not give to infants under age 1.

- Zanamivir is not recommended for children under 5 years of age.

Prolonged Tamiflu use:

- Not intended for long-term use.

Skin & sunlight:

- No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:

- Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you.

- Don't work around dangerous machinery.

- Don't climb ladders or work in high places.

- Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, sedatives, pain medicine, narcotics and mind-altering drugs.

Discontinuing TAMIFLU:

- Do not discontinue until you finish all of your medicine; otherwise, symptoms may return.


- You should continue receiving an annual flu shot according to guidelines on immunization practices or as recommended by your doctor.

- People with the flu, including children and adolescents may be at increased risk of self-injury and confusion shortly after taking oseltamivir. Watch patient's behavior closely.

- Use of the drug does not reduce the risk of transmitting influenza to others.

- Advise any doctor or dentist whom you consult that you take this medicine.

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