What are the side effects of Tamiflu in children?
Tamiflu is a prescription medicine for the treatment of influenza, or flu, in children and adults. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Tamiflu in 1999.
In 2009, governments across the world stockpiled the drug in response to the worldwide spread of the H1N1, or "swine flu" strain of influenza.
However, recent research has shed doubt on how well Tamiflu works and raised concerns over possible side effects.
This article outlines the current evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of Tamiflu in children.
What is Tamiflu ? young girl being examined by doctor A doctor may prescribe Tamiflu to reduce flu symptoms. Influenza antivirals are drugs that shorten the duration of flu symptoms. Tamiflu is the brand name for the antiviral drug oseltamivir.
Oseltamivir belongs to the neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) class of antivirals.
Neuraminidase is an enzyme that allows a virus to replicate inside the body. NAIs block these enzymes and help prevent the virus from replicating.
A doctor may prescribe Tamiflu to reduce severe flu symptoms in children as young as 2 weeks old, or to help prevent flu in children aged 1 year or older.
Side effects of Tamiflu Tamiflu can cause a variety of side effects. Most of the common side effects are not serious, but rarer and more serious side effects are possible.
Common side effects According to the FDA, the most common side effects of Tamiflu are nausea and vomiting. Both tend to occur within the first 2 days of treatment.
Taking Tamiflu with food may reduce the risk of an upset stomach.
Other potential side effects Other side effects of oseltamivir may include:
abdominal pain a headache nosebleeds fatigue In some cases, oseltamivir may cause more serious side effects. A child or adult who experiences any of the following should see a doctor immediately or contact the emergency services:
allergic skin rash, hives, or blisters itching swelling of the face or tongue difficulty breathing or swallowing mouth sores hoarseness speech problems confusion shaky movements hallucinations Neuropsychiatric side effects A 2012 review investigated the risk of neuropsychiatric side effects among children and adults receiving oseltamivir. Neuropsychiatric effects are those that healthcare professionals link to a person's mental health and the nervous system.
According to the review, between September 2007 and May 2010, some 1,330 people across the globe experienced what it terms neuropsychiatric adverse events (NPAEs) while taking oseltamivir.
A total of 1,072 of these NPAEs occurred in children aged 16 years or under.
The most common NPAEs among children were abnormal behavior, delusions, and perceptual disturbances.
However, the authors suggested that the NPAEs may not have been due to oseltamivir but were a symptom of the influenza virus.
The authors based this conclusion on the following observations:
NPAEs also occurred among people who did not take oseltamivir. Most cases of NPAEs happened when people were experiencing fever. Fever can directly cause psychiatric symptoms. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324902.php