Those who have the swine flu or who are worried about catching it may have considered getting antiviral drugs and/or the swine flu vaccine when it arrives. However, there may be some side effects you want to know about.
According to the CDC, antiviral drugs should be taken within two days after getting sick. They can reduce the severity of symptoms and how long the flu lasts. People should also get a regular flu vaccine to avoid the upcoming seasonal flu.
You should ask your doctor about any side effects, since the CDC's Web site said that the side effects differ for each different drug. Four antiviral drugs that the CDC lists as having possible side effects are amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir and oseltamivir.
Amantadine and rimantadine can both affect the central nervous system and cause nausea and loss of appetite, according to the CDC. Delirium, hallucinations, agitation and seizures can also occur in some cases. However, side effects should leave after a week.
Zanamivir can rarely cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, sinusitis, nasal infections, bronchitis, cough, headache and dizziness. Side effects are more common in those who have asthma or other chronic lung diseases, according to the CDC.
Oseltamivir can cause nausea and vomiting, but if taken with food the side effects are usually less severe,according to the CDC.
According to the Daily Mail, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, the swine flu could cause a deadly nerve disease, a brain disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
However, according the the New York Times, there have been no major side effects from the vaccine so far.
An article from The Standard also mentioned neurological complications in some nurses who took the seasonal flu vaccine and how the 1976 swine flu vaccine killed many Americans.
I personally would be wary of the swine flu vaccine until it has been tested further. According to CBS News,the vaccine will not be able to be tested for long-term side effects. This is obvious, since the vaccine needs to be made available soon. However, this is still a concern.