The anti-viral drug Tamiflu is being changed. The amount of drug in each dose is being reduced from 12 mg to 6 mg to avoid medication errors. The more potent Tamiflu would sometimes become frothy when shaken, which made accurate measurements for dosages difficult. The labeling of the product will be changed to reflect this.
The 12 mg concentration will still be for sale at pharmacies until the product is sold out but it will not be marketed after that.
What is Tamiflu?
Tamiflu is a drug intended to prevent or treat influenza, which is given as an oral suspension or in capsule form. However, according to literature on the subject, if it is given after you already have the flu, it only lessens the duration of it by one day, rather than preventing it: "In a pooled analysis of all influenza-positive adults and adolescents enrolled into treatment studies, oseltamivir 75 mg twice daily for 5 days reduced the median duration of influenza illness by approximately one day from 5.2 days in the placebo group to 4.2 days."
In children aged one year to 12 years, Tamiflu reduced the number of days ill with flu by 1.5 days.
However, this was only for laboratory confirmed cases of flu and it did not reduce flu-like symptoms.
A study in asthmatic children showed that the medication did not work for this group of individuals.
Manufacturers say that Tamiflu may prevent flu if given within the first 48 hours of symptoms. There were 27 cases of laboratory confirmed flu out of 136 people not having treatment compared with 10 people out of 135 in the group taking Tamiflu. The state of health of the people in these groups was not mentioned.
Side-Effects of Tamiflu
Side-effects associated with Tamiflu are greater than in those who were given a placebo, but the placebo was not disclosed so depending on what it was may have impacted the study results. Very common side effects noted after Tamiflu are headache and nausea.