What Is Tamiflu?

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What It Is:

Tamiflu is a prescription medication used to treat influenza, or flu, virus. It can shorten the duration of the flu if taken as soon as symptoms start.

Who Can Take It:

Tamiflu is approved for adults and children over 2 weeks of age.

Who should NOT take Tamiflu:

  • Children under 2 weeks old *
  • Those who are allergic to oseltamivir phosphate - the main ingredient - or any other ingredients in Tamiflu

    * On April 27, 2009, the CDC approved the use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) in children under 12 months old and pregnant women who have confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu. These two groups are at high risk for complications from influenza and it is believed that the benefits outweigh the risks in this situation.

    Consult your healthcare provider if you have kidney disease, heart disease, respiratory disease or any other serious health condition.

    When Should I Take Tamiflu:

    You may take Tamiflu to treat the flu or, in some cases, to prevent the flu.


    Take Tamiflu within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.


    If someone in your family has the flu, take Tamiflu as prescribed by your doctor to prevent the flu.

    What is the Dosage:


    Take one capsule twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for five days.


    Take one capsule a day for 10 days or as long as prescribed by your doctor.

    Tamiflu may be taken for up to 6 weeks in the case of an outbreak of influenza in the community.

    Be sure to take all of the prescribed medication, even if you feel better.

    Dosage may be different for children and for liquid solutions.

    What are the Side Effects?:

    Tamiflu may cause mild to moderate nausea and vomiting.

    Taking the medication with food or milk may decrease these symptoms.

    Less common side effects include bronchitis, difficulty sleeping, and dizziness.

    If you have an allergic reaction to Tamiflu, including a severe rash, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor.


    "Interim Guidance on Antiviral Recommendations for Patients with Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection and Their Close Contacts." H1N1 Flu 6 May 09. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 May 09.

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