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Oseltamivir (By mouth)

Treats and helps prevent influenza.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Oseltamivir belongs to the family of medicines called antivirals, which are used to treat infections caused by viruses. Oseltamivir is used in the treatment of the infection caused by the flu virus (influenza A and influenza B). Oseltamivir may also be used to prevent and treat swine influenza A. Oseltamivir may reduce flu symptoms (weakness, headache, fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and sore Read more
Brand names include
Tamiflu
Drug classes About this
Antiviral

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Regulatory information on trials of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) for influenza in adults and children

Oseltamivir and zanamivir have been stockpiled in many countries to treat and prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza, before an influenza vaccine matched to the circulating virus becomes available. Oseltamivir is classified by the World Health Organization as an essential medicine.

Neuraminidase inhibitors for influenza: a systematic review and meta-analysis of regulatory and mortality data

The study found that the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir cause small reductions in the time to first alleviation of influenza symptoms in adults. Oseltamivir increases the risk of nausea, vomiting, psychiatric events in adults and vomiting in children and has no protective effect on mortality among patients with 2009A/H1N1 influenza.

Amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir for the prophylaxis of influenza (including a review of existing guidance no. 67): a systematic review and economic evaluation

Influenza is an acute, febrile illness caused by infection of the respiratory system by the influenza virus. The illness is usually self-limiting in otherwise healthy people. In individuals considered to be at high risk, such as those aged over 65 years or having concomitant disease, it carries the risk of increased morbidity, potentially serious complications and mortality. A Health Technology Assessment of amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir for the prophylaxis of influenza was reported earlier by Turner and colleagues. Since that review, the marketing authorisation for zanamivir has been extended to include intervention in the prophylaxis of influenza as well as in its treatment. This report presents an updated assessment of new and existing evidence for the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir in the prevention of influenza.

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Summaries for consumers

Can oseltamivir (Tamiflu) prevent complications?

In some groups of people, having the flu can sometimes lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. Drugs like oseltamivir (trade name: Tamiflu) aim to prevent things from turning serious. But research has only shown that taking oseltamivir might make general flu symptoms go away a bit sooner.

Regulatory information on trials of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) for influenza in adults and children

Oseltamivir and zanamivir have been stockpiled in many countries to treat and prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza, before an influenza vaccine matched to the circulating virus becomes available. Oseltamivir is classified by the World Health Organization as an essential medicine.

Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in children

Influenza (true 'flu) is an infection of the airways caused by the Influenza group of viruses. Influenza occurs most commonly during winter months and can result in symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. These are usually self limiting but may persist for one to two weeks. The most common complications of influenza are secondary bacterial infections including otitis media (ear infections) and pneumonia. Influenza infection is also highly contagious and is spread from person‐to‐person by droplets produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes.

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