Tamiflu is a prescription antiviral medication for treating influenza infections (flu). The effectiveness of the drug is confirmed not only by clinical indicators of recovery of the studied groups of patients but also by the opinion of the doctors and the patients themselves. The active component of the drug is oseltamivir phosphate – an enzyme that deactivates the ability of a pathogenic virus to penetrate into healthy cells and multiply in an already infected body.
About the drug
According to the instructions from the manufacturer, the Swiss company-leader in pharmacological production F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, the drug is an active tool in the treatment and prevention of influenza in patients of any age category. The presence of restrictions in the form of these side effects somewhat reduces the popularity of Tamiflu. However, statistical practice confirms the high effectiveness of the drug. The vast majority of patients treated with the drug note good results and easy tolerance of the components of the drug.
The history of Tamiflu, as a medicine against influenza and SARS, is unique. Initially, in 1996, the oseltamivir enzyme was created, which was intended for the treatment of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS). In clinical studies, it was found that the enzyme does not act on AIDS cells, but shows an active ability to suppress the development of group A and B viruses. Based on the high results in the treatment of influenza and SARS, Tamiflu is approved by the World Health Organization as vital for the activity of viruses A and B.
In 1999, F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd became the sole owner of a patent for Tamiflu. Then, in subsequent clinical trials in animals, the side effects of this drug were revealed.
Today, Tamiflu formula is brought to practical perfection. In the list of leaders in the treatment of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections, the drug takes the leading place thanks to the manufacturer’s marketing developments and increased public interest in the drug. The presence of a side effect does not prevent Tamiflu from being in the ranking of the most popular drugs in developing countries in Europe.
The composition of the drug
The antiviral drug Tamiflu consists of the following components:
- Tamiflu capsules contain 75 mg of oseltamivir; excipients: starch, gelatin, povidone, talc, sodium stearyl fumarate;
- Tamiflu powder for suspension contains 12 mg of oseltamivir; excipients: sorbitol, titanium dioxide, sodium benzoate, monosodium citrate, sodium saccharin, aromatic additives.
Mechanism of action
Virus infection occurs by infection of healthy cells with an enzyme of a pathogenic microorganism (neuraminidase). Under the action of the neuraminidase enzyme, the newly formed virus is separated from the already infected cell. This process contributes to the rapid infection of subsequent cells and the spread of the virus throughout the body.
Circulating in the blood plasma, as well as in the intercellular fluid, Oseltamivir has a pharmacological effect outside the cells. It blocks the separation of infected particles from the infected cell, thereby preventing the spread of the virus. Inhibition of the activity of pathogenic microflora leads to a decrease in intoxication and a decrease in the level of toxins in the bloodstream. The maximum concentration of the active substance in blood plasma is observed 40 hours after taking the medicine.
The effectiveness of Tamiflu is proven by practice. Already on the first day after taking the medicine, patients notice a significant improvement in their general condition, a decrease in temperature, a decrease in muscle and headache pains and symptoms of nasal congestion. Timely administration of the drug helps to prevent influenza and acute respiratory viral infections in the early stages, reduces treatment time, and also reduces the risk of developing hidden complications.
What diseases is the drug effective for?
The main indications for Tamiflu are the prevention and treatment of influenza infection caused by influenza viruses of type A and B, as well as parainfluenza. The drug’s ability to block the production of the viral neuraminidase enzyme, which facilitates their penetration into healthy cells of the mucous membranes of the broncho-pulmonary system, allows reducing the incidence of influenza infection by ninety-two percent in contacted individuals, and also in forty percent of cases significantly accelerate the healing process of patients and prevent the occurrence of infectious complications.
However, the effectiveness of Tamiflu in acute respiratory viral infections, according to clinical experts, is considered insufficient. Viral agents, which are the etiological cause of the development of acute respiratory viral infections, do not differ in sufficient susceptibility to the drug.
Currently, there are about one hundred and forty varieties of SARS viruses: rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, rotaviruses, enteroviruses. They do not contain the neuraminidase enzyme, which leads to their less pronounced neurotropic effect and intoxication effects, and therefore are not susceptible to the effects of oseltamivir.
Side effects from taking Tamiflu
Through an in-depth study of Japanese scientists in 2004, an insignificant psychotropic effect of the drug Tamiflu on the children’s body was established. However, the manufacturer’s instructions do not provide this information.
According to WHO, the drug is approved for use in the treatment of children from birth, as a medicine that prevents the spread of the influenza epidemic. The medical community has not yet given a clear opinion on this matter.
The following side effects of taking Tamiflu are known today:
- Gastrointestinal tract – nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea. Symptoms usually resolve on their own after some time and do not require discontinuation of the drug.
- CNS – psychosomatic disorders, insomnia, convulsive muscle contractions, hallucinations. Risk group – children under 12 years old.
- Individual intolerance to one of the components included in the preparation.
- Diseases of the liver, kidneys and genitourinary system with severe functional malfunctions.
How to take Tamiflu
Before using Tamiflu for the treatment of influenza, be sure to consult your doctor. With treatment, it is possible to develop side effects that should be controlled by a specialist.
Proper treatment regimens and recommended oral dose:
- Tamiflu capsules for children over the age of thirteen and for adults have prescribed 75 mg twice a day.
- It is recommended to be taken orally with food washed down with a small amount of water to prevent possible gastric discomfort.
- The course of treatment is five days.
- Treatment must begin within forty hours from the onset of the disease.
- You should take any missed doses in accordance with the annotation to the drug.
Tamiflu for pregnant and lactating women
During an influenza epidemic, pregnant women are at increased risk for developing life-threatening complications, so they are indicated to prescribe antiviral drugs for treating influenza.
Despite the fact that there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women, in accordance with WHO recommendations, treatment of pregnant women is possible only with two antiviral drugs:
- oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
- zanamivir (Relenza).
Treatment should be started as soon as possible after the onset of the first symptoms, without waiting for the results of laboratory tests.
Antiviral drugs are prescribed for pregnant women at any time of the disease. However, the maximum therapeutic effect is achieved when taking antiviral drugs in the first 48 hours of clinical manifestations of the disease.
The dosage of Tamiflu during pregnancy and the postpartum period in the treatment of influenza:
- mild to moderate severity: 75 mg (1 capsule) or 75 mg suspension x 2 times a day for 5-7 days;
- severe: 150 mg x 2 p. per day for 7-10 days.
Oseltamivir in small quantities passes into breast milk, creating specific concentrations in the baby’s blood. When prescribing these antiviral drugs to nursing women, the issue of continuing breastfeeding is decided individually, taking into account the severity of the mother’s condition.
Ordering Tamiflu online
In accordance with existing rules, it is illegal to sell prescription drugs to anyone without consulting before you buy it. You need to fill out an online consultation form with a qualified doctor to make sure Tamiflu is safe for you.
As soon as your consultation is reviewed, you will receive an opinion on the appropriate treatment for you. The consultation process takes only a few minutes. If based on the information provided, you are suitable for this treatment, the doctor will give you a prescription.
After this short procedure, the medicine will be sent to you for delivery the next day so that you can start the fight against the virus as soon as possible.
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