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The flu is hitting hard and you may have friends and family that are getting sick. Here is the information you need to know about current treatment options for the flu. Your best protection from catching the flu is to get a flu vaccine more information here. If you have the flu, there are several prescription medications available including: oral oseltamivir Tamifluinhaled zanamivir Relenzaor the intravenous drug peramivir Rapivab.

A list of safe options can be found here. Antibiotics do NOT work against the flu because it is caused by a virus and not by bacteria. Tamiflu is heavily advertised, but many doctors believe that Tamiflu does not work well enough to justify the high cost of the drug, or the CDC recommendation that all patients take it.

Since Tamiflu gets so much attention in the media, you may want to know more. Here is the info that you need to help you decide if you want to try it for yourself or a loved one.

Tamiflu is a prescription antiviral medication used for treatment of the flu and to prevent catching the flu if you have been near someone sick. It has been heavily advertised, but there is lots of controversy over whether or not it is actually effective.

On average patients who start taking Tamiflu within 48 hours of getting sick will recover one day faster than patients who do not take anything. Tamiflu has been approved for use in adults, infants as young as 2 weeks, children, and pregnant women.

Tamiflu does not work as well in patients that are over The serious side effects are very rare, but tend to occur more often in children, so if your child is taking Tamiflu and you notice any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately and discontinue use of Tamiflu.

You should also stop using Tamiflu immediately and seek medical attention if you have any signs of allergic reaction, including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat or skin rash. With all these risks, and so little benefit, why take Tamiflu? The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thinks it is worth it, but experts in the field disagree.

As a patient, you should weigh the risks and benefits before deciding if Tamiflu is right for you.

When to Take Tamiflu, According to a Doctor

If you can start taking Tamiflu quickly within 48 hours of getting flu symptoms and a positive flu test, it is more likely to work, but still may only shorten your flu by one day. Patients such as pregnant women, infants, or patients with a weakened immune system are more at risk of complications from the flu and might be more likely to benefit from Tamiflu, but should talk to their doctors to weigh the risks and benefits before deciding.My husband was diagnosed by our family doctor tested and confirmed to have the flu on Wednesday I had a flu shot, he didn't.

I'm supposed to have an unrelated surgery on Tuesday so I'm wondering how long Tamiflu takes to work? Tamiflu is most effective when taken within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

how does tamiflu work

It does not treat the flu. It reduces the severity and length of illness. You are still contagious for 7 days after the symptoms began, even if you feel better.

Please do Rest. Drink plenty of fruit juice especially containing VitC. Take Acetaminophen if you have a fever. If you get worse, call your doctor.

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Thank you for your answer. Thankfully I did start within 48 hours of the onset. But I guess this means that my surgery is off for Tuesday :. I was going to add, as a precaution, you may want to delay your surgery a bit to allow yourself time to get over the flu. See if you can put it out for another month or so. I know it sucks to wait so long for something you've been anticipating but that is better than surgery complications from not being well enough.

I am a single male, 45 yrs old, live in houston and work at 2 jobs, one at a very busy hotel, the other as a massage therapist, Ive been stricken with the flu since sunday, I was diagnosed by doctor tuesday and prescribed tamiflu, my? Someone with influenza should NOT be taking acetaminophen. Taking aspirin with the flu can cause Reye's syndome. Please get educated on these matters if you are going to give advice Zeynab.

Rodie, Acetaminophen is NOT aspirin and Reyes Syndrome is only a concern in children and teens with a viral infection.Medically reviewed by C.

how does tamiflu work

Fookes, BPharm Last updated on Dec 4, If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:. Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects.

For a complete list of all side effects, click here. Bottom Line Tamiflu is an antiviral medicine that is used for the treatment or prevention of the flu. When used to treat the flu, it is most effective if started within 48 hours of symptom onset.

Medicines that interact with Tamiflu may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works for, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with Tamiflu. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.

Common medications that may interact with Tamiflu include:. Alcohol should be avoided while taking Tamiflu because it weakens the immune system and may exacerbate the side effects of Tamiflu. Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with Tamiflu. You should refer to the prescribing information for Tamiflu for a complete list of interactions.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Tamiflu only for the indication prescribed. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Tamiflu reviews. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Available for Android and iOS devices.

The Inside Story of Tamiflu: Side Effects & Benefits

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Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that blocks an enzyme called neuraminidase, which helps the flu virus replicate and spread through your body. Most flu researchers agree on the basics — that Tamiflu will reduce symptoms, like stuffy nose, sore throat, fever and tiredness, which is something many over-the-counter medications do too.

Elena Govorkova, laboratory director in the division of virology at St. Govorkova said Tamiflu is clinically proven to reduce the duration of influenza symptoms by one to two days, which may not seem like much. He said the two agencies are acting according to their respective missions.

Influenza (Flu)

Instead, the CDC makes recommendations for public health based on a broader, albeit less strict, body of evidence, Uyeki said. Based on this observational data, Uyeki said that oseltamivir — the generic name for antivirals that include Tamiflu — can improve survival against the worst flu complications, especially when the drug is compared to no treatment at all.

The team looked at clinical study reports for 83 trials and found no improvement for admission-to-hospital rates, pneumonia or bronchitis. However, they did see a more than 50 percent reduction in influenza symptoms.

She explains: Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, not the influenza virus. But the flu virus, in some cases, can predispose receptors on the epithelial cells lining our throats and lungs to become infected with pneumonia-causing bacteria. And because of that, pneumonia cannot occur. Doshi and Uyeki do agree that underlying chronic conditions — like asthma, obesity, diabetes and heart disease — can worsen a flu case by expanding the amount of time the virus spends multiplying.

But with the flood of alarming media and rising flu-related hospitalizations, Doshi worries people will begin to count on Tamiflu to save lives. Govorkova said patients should consult their doctors on whether Tamiflu could be helpful. They should also make sure to take the full course of medicine. Some people drop out early or take it once a day rather than twice a day, she said, and this should be avoided because it can cause the emergence of Tamiflu-resistant flu strains.

Support Provided By: Learn more. Watch Apr 08 Arkansas Gov. Nation Apr Politics Apr Health Apr World Apr Education Apr We've gathered the facts on this pricey and controversial drug. Every year when flu season rolls around, you're probably tempted to spend a good hour or two consulting with Dr. Google about what drugs could help at the first signs of the flu fever, chest pain, body chills.

Or not.

how does tamiflu work

But you might not know exactly when to take Tamiflu, or similar drugs, should you get the flu. Odds are your doc will prescribe one of four antiviral meds : inhaled zanamivir brand name Relenzaintravenous peramivir Rapivabbaloxavir marboxil Xofluzaor oral oseltamivir, otherwise known as Tamiflu.

Tamiflu has been the subject of controversy in recent years—which has left many wondering, Does Tamiflu work?

how does tamiflu work

And are Tamiflu side effects worth it? As for flu preventionthe FDA says Tamiflu can also keep people from getting sick in the first place.

How long does it take for Tamiflu to work?

Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Your protection lasts through the entire season. Plus, Tamiflu is expensive. Tamiflu is approved to treat influenza in people whose symptoms have not lasted longer than two days which might come as a surprise to anyone who has gotten a script after being sick for a week.

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If you take antivirals after that window, "the potential benefits are less," she notes. That said, doctors might prescribe Tamiflu to people who are immunocompromised or at risk of flu-related complications, even if the hour period has passed, Dr.

Rehm says. If you have a fever or shortness of breath that lingers, alert your doctor, Dr. Rehm urges. Basically, whether you take Tamiflu or not is up to you and your doctor. No one should take any drug unnecessarily, Dr. Rehm points out. And the side effects of Tamiflu —which include nausea and vomiting—are worth considering.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. When to Take Tamiflu, According to a Doctor. By Maria Masters January 15, Save Pin FB ellipsis More.Have you seen the commercial for Tamiflu oseltamivir? A very sick-looking man is seen creeping about in a very small house. He blows his nose with a teeny tissue.

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The voiceover announcer says:. Prescription Tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source, so call your doctor right away. For the virus to penetrate human cells and then spread the infection to other cells throughout the body, it relies on an enzyme called neuraminidase NA that has a mushroom-like shape. The virus utilizes this enzyme to bust out of the host cell and spread lots more viruses and chaos throughout the body.

Tamiflu is an NA inhibitor. By blocking the NA enzyme the drug makes it harder for the influenza virus to escape a host cell and replicate. As good as this sounds, you have to take the drug within the first day or two of symptoms.

Flu viruses are notoriously given to mutation, and they change frequently. Those who take the drug prophylactically say when a spouse or child gets influenza are supposed to be able to prevent the flu from taking hold in the first place. A study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine March 19, reported that Tamiflu was helpful during the swine flu epidemic. The researchers evaluated data from dozens of studies involving nearly 30, patients who had been hospitalized with H1N1 influenza.

These were severely ill people. Those who received Tamiflu during their hospitalization were 25 percent less likely to die compared to patients who did not get the antiviral medication. If influenza-infected patients got Tamiflu within two days of the onset of symptoms, their likelihood of dying was halved.

The lead investigator suggested that the earlier Tamiflu is used during an influenza epidemic, the more effective it will be in reducing severe illness or death. A more recent study showed that oseltamivir is equally effective as a newer antiviral drug developed against influenza, zanamivir Marty et al, The Lancet Respiratory MedicineFeb.

Does Tamiflu Work As Well As Everyone Says It Does? Here's Everything You Need To Know

These were patients hospitalized with severe influenza. They responded to the drug in just over five days. The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent network of health professionals who sift through scientific evidence to determine the safety and effectiveness of various treatments. The Cochrane Collaboration concluded :. There was no evidence of a reduction in hospitalisations or serious influenza complications; confirmed pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis or ear infection in either adults or children.

Tamiflu also increased the risk of nausea and vomiting in adults by around 4 percent and in children by 5 percent. There was a reported increased risk of psychiatric events of around 1 percent when Tamiflu was used to prevent influenza.Watch live.

Essential FAQ. Listen: Special podcast episode. Teresa Carey Teresa Carey. Nsikan Akpan Nsikan Akpan. Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that blocks an enzyme called neuraminidase, which helps the flu virus replicate and spread through your body.

Most flu researchers agree on the basics — that Tamiflu will reduce symptoms, like stuffy nose, sore throat, fever and tiredness, which is something many over-the-counter medications do too. Elena Govorkova, laboratory director in the division of virology at St.

Govorkova said Tamiflu is clinically proven to reduce the duration of influenza symptoms by one to two days, which may not seem like much. He said the two agencies are acting according to their respective missions. Instead, the CDC makes recommendations for public health based on a broader, albeit less strict, body of evidence, Uyeki said.

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Based on this observational data, Uyeki said that oseltamivir — the generic name for antivirals that include Tamiflu — can improve survival against the worst flu complications, especially when the drug is compared to no treatment at all. The team looked at clinical study reports for 83 trials and found no improvement for admission-to-hospital rates, pneumonia or bronchitis. However, they did see a more than 50 percent reduction in influenza symptoms. She explains: Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, not the influenza virus.

But the flu virus, in some cases, can predispose receptors on the epithelial cells lining our throats and lungs to become infected with pneumonia-causing bacteria. And because of that, pneumonia cannot occur. Doshi and Uyeki do agree that underlying chronic conditions — like asthma, obesity, diabetes and heart disease — can worsen a flu case by expanding the amount of time the virus spends multiplying. But with the flood of alarming media and rising flu-related hospitalizations, Doshi worries people will begin to count on Tamiflu to save lives.

Govorkova said patients should consult their doctors on whether Tamiflu could be helpful. They should also make sure to take the full course of medicine. Some people drop out early or take it once a day rather than twice a day, she said, and this should be avoided because it can cause the emergence of Tamiflu-resistant flu strains. Support Provided By: Learn more. Watch Apr 14 The pandemic threatens the people of East Africa — and now locusts threaten their food.

Read Apr 14 Kentucky lawmakers override veto of voter ID measure. Watch Apr 14 What an interrupted school year means for these college students. Nation Apr World Apr Politics Apr


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