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Tamiflu for Kids: What You Need to Know

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If you or your children get the flu, your physician may prescribe Tamiflu or one other antiviral remedy. But individuals appear to have questions on this—significantly Tamiflu for children. Some could be unfamiliar with it (particularly if you happen to by no means took it rising up), whereas others could also be hesitant in the identical method they’re vaccine hesitant (which is a rising and more and more harmful pattern).

This hesitation round Tamiflu is within the information lately for a heartbreaking purpose. Last week, NBC News reported {that a} Colorado lady’s 4-year-old son died from the flu. A number of days prior, the mother posted in a Facebook group titled “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” that docs prescribed her son Tamiflu however she didn’t choose it up. Other members within the group reportedly urged her to attempt issues like breastmilk, thyme, and elderberry, which aren’t scientifically confirmed to deal with the flu.

Although Tamiflu may be efficient in treating and even stopping the flu in individuals who have been uncovered, it’s clear that some mother and father have considerations about it. It’s utterly comprehensible for parents to be worried concerning the security of any drug they’re contemplating giving their youngsters, but it surely’s additionally essential to clear up misinformation which may cease individuals from utilizing this remedy when it could possibly be useful. Here, SELF dug by out there knowledge and talked to a physician who makes a speciality of pediatric infectious illnesses to get solutions to your probably questions on Tamiflu for children.

What is Tamiflu?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Tamiflu, additionally out there as generic oseltamivir phosphate, is an oral antiviral drug permitted for treating the flu in individuals 2 weeks or older. Available as a tablet or liquid taken over the course of 5 days, it really works by attacking the flu virus in your physique so as to preserve it from multiplying, in flip lessening signs, aiding in sooner restoration, and lowering the probability of probably life-threatening issues, Flor Munoz, M.D., affiliate professor of pediatrics and infectious illnesses at Baylor College of Medicine and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), tells SELF.

Tamiflu is definitely additionally permitted as a preventive remedy for adults and kids aged one 12 months or older who’ve been uncovered to influenza—say, by dwelling with somebody with the flu—however aren’t sick but. Key truth right here: Tamiflu is not a alternative for the flu vaccine, the FDA notes, including that the vaccine remains to be our greatest protection towards influenza. Everyone who’s 6 months or older ought to get a flu vaccine yearly besides within the uncommon case that there’s a serious medical reason not to (like a life-threatening allergy to an ingredient within the vaccine), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains. (There’s nonetheless time to get the vaccine for protection this flu season, additionally.)

Though a number of antiviral medication are permitted for treating the flu in youngsters, Tamiflu is mostly the remedy of selection, in accordance to the AAP’s most recent recommendations for prevention and management of influenza in youngsters. It’s simpler to give a child an oral remedy as an alternative of the inhaled and intravenous antiviral choices. Baloxavir is one other oral antiviral out there for treating the flu, but it surely’s solely permitted for sufferers who’re 12 years or older.

In each children and adults, Tamiflu works finest when began inside 48 hours of flu signs showing, the CDC explains. But proof reveals that it may nonetheless be helpful after that, particularly in children who’re hospitalized with the flu or at excessive danger of creating issues (which applies to children underneath 5 years outdated, particularly these underneath 2, in addition to youngsters who’ve underlying situations like bronchial asthma, diabetes, and coronary heart or lung illness), the CDC says. It’s an analogous scenario with adults: People who’ve extreme circumstances of the flu, are hospitalized, are aged, or have continual underlying sickness that put them in danger for issues should profit from beginning Tamiflu later. That’s why, for children and adults in these extra susceptible classes, the AAP, CDC, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) all advocate contemplating beginning Tamiflu even when it’s been over 48 hours since signs started.

What are the unwanted effects of Tamiflu?

According to the FDA, the most typical unwanted effects of Tamiflu are nausea and vomiting, although these have a tendency not to be extreme, and taking Tamiflu with meals may decrease the chances of experiencing these points. Other doable unwanted effects embody abdomen ache, nosebleeds, headache, and fatigue. And, like with any remedy, there’s all the time the slight chance of getting an allergic reaction, which can manifest with signs like a pores and skin rash, hives, blisters, swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat, hassle respiration, or itching.


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