oseltamivir (generic name)

Tamiflu (brand name)

It is used to prevent and to treat some kinds of influenza or the flu
(os el TAM i vir)
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What is this medicine?

OSELTAMIVIR (os el TAM i vir) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to prevent and to treat some kinds of influenza or the flu. It will not work for colds or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • heart disease
  • immune system problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to oseltamivir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Start this medicine at the first sign of flu symptoms. Shake well before using. Use the oral syringe provided to measure the dose. Place the medicine directly into the mouth. Do not mix with any other liquid. Rinse the oral syringe and dry before the next use. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 14 days for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose (within 2 hours), take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

If you have the flu, you may be at an increased risk of developing seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior. This occurs early in the illness, and more frequently in children and teens. These events are not common, but may result in accidental injury to the patient. Families and caregivers of patients should watch for signs of unusual behavior and contact a doctor or health care professional right away if the patient shows signs of unusual behavior.

This medicine is not a substitute for the flu shot. Talk to your doctor each year about an annual flu shot.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • anxiety, confusion, unusual behavior
  • breathing problems
  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizures

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

After this medicine is mixed by your pharmacist, store it in the refrigerator at 2 to 8 degrees C (36 to 46 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after 10 days.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: December 21, 2012
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