Effectiveness of Tamiflu
The effectiveness of tamiflu is questionable considering some recent research and the list of side effects possible from its use. If not the effectiveness, at least the reasonableness and logic of taking something with such side effects.
Tamiflu side effects
To help you if you are considering a flu medication such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and are trying to balance the claimed benefits against the documented side effects, here are the common (and less-serious) side effects of Tamiflu:
These are, interestingly, the very symptoms you're trying to avoid! More serious symptoms of Tamiflu include convulsions, delirium or delusions, and 14 deaths in children and teens as a result of neuropsychiatric problems and brain infections (Japan banned Tamiflu for children in 2007). And that's for a drug that, when used as directed, only reduces the duration of influenza symptoms by 1 to 1 ½ days, according to the official data. The other "approved" antiviral drug is Relenza (zanamivir).
But making matters worse, some patients with influenza are at higher risk for secondary bacterial infections when on Tamiflu. And secondary bacterial infections, may well have been the real cause of many of the mass fatalities during the 1918 pandemic!
Perhaps the better way is to build up your immune system and let your body defend itself. That will benefit you in many other ways too.
Effectiveness of Tamiflu - Recent Research
US plans to use the antiviral drug Tamiflu in the event of avian flu infection in humans could be thrown into doubt following the publication of new research.
Scientists at Ohio State University found that the widespread use of a class of antiviral drugs called adamantanes to prevent flu increased the influenza virus's resistance to them. Of course, the drug's effect of lessening the competition allowed the resistant strains of influenza to multiply and spread more quickly.
Daniel James (professor of biomedical informatics at Ohio State University, and senior author of the study) said: "We can't necessarily say what we've seen in adamantanes is predictive of what will happen with Tamiflu. But in the larger dynamic, perhaps it serves as a cautionary tale."
Researchers state that the results should act as a warning regarding the potential effectiveness of antiviral medication. Various government health agencies have stockpiled Tamiflu in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. Estimates are that 50 million people worldwide have been treated with Tamiflu. The majority of those (35 million) were in Japan.
In light of information on the effectiveness of tamiflu, each person should appropriately consult health care and learn what they can so as to make the best decision.
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