With the onset of flu season, many people are asking what they can do to avoid contracting influenza. Obviously basic hygiene is of critical importance this time of year. Proper hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, eating a well balanced diet, and staying hydrated are all important steps, not just during flu season but any time of the year. Healthcare providers are recommending, as usual, that everyone who is able receive a flu vaccine. Many people are asking if there are any other drugs that can prevent or treat the flu. One medication that HealthWarehouse.com offers and that has been around for a while is Tamiflu. Here are a few facts about Tamiflu from the manufacturer, Roche Laboratories.
What is Tamiflu?
Tamiflu (oseltamivir), a prescription drug, is an oral anitviral treatment for influenza. It is not a substitute for the flu shot which is the first line of defense for flu protection. It belongs to a class of medicines called neuraminidase inhibitors (NAI). These medicines prevent the influenza virus from spreading inside the body. When neuraminidase is inhibited, the virus is unable to exit the host cell and spread to and infect other cells in the body. Unlike older antivirals, such as M2 inhibitors, NAIs, such as Tamiflu, are effective against the influenza A and B viruses.
How is Tamiflu used?
Tamiflu is used for the treatment and prevention of influenza in people one year and older. It is given orally, typically in a capsule form (75mg), and is systemically absorbed, meaning that it can reach key sites in the body where the influenza virus multiplies. Treatment with Tamiflu must begin within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms for full effect.
What are the benefits of Tamiflu?
When administered according to its approved dosage (75mg, twice daily for five days) and within 48 hours of the first appearance of symptoms, there is a reduction in the duration of influenza illness and the severity of symptoms. In flu treatment studies of patients who took Tamiflu according to these guidelines, adults felt better 30 percent faster, and children felt better up to 26 percent faster, than flu patients who did not take Tamiflu. In children, treatment with Tamiflu may also reduce the incidence of middle ear infections (associated otitis media) and the likelihood of febrile influenza (flu marked by fever).
It has been suggested that Tamiflu may also help prevent or lessen the symptoms associated with H5N1 avian influenza (bird flu). The available evidence of the clinical effectiveness against avian influenza is largely anecdotal and, in the majority of cases, is associated with significant delays in the start of treatment (not within 48 hours of the first appearance of symptoms).
When should Tamiflu not be used?
An intranasal flu vaccine like FluMist should not be given within two weeks before or 48 hours after taking Tamiflu, unless it is deemed appropriate by your doctor.
For more information on Tamiflu, visit http://www.tamiflu.com or ask your healthcare provider.