Issue on Tamiflu

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24 Jul 2016 - General

Since the outbreak of swine flu (H1N1 virus) in April 2009, the prescription of oseltamivir for flu-like symptoms have increased. This was based on research studies that neuraminidase inhibitors will reduce the length of the disease course, decrease hospital admissions and the incidence of associated influenza complications. However, there are researchers that criticize the original studies on the efficacy of neuraminidase inhibitors. In fact, in 2006, a team of Cochrane researchers performed a systematic analysis on available data and concluded that neuraminidase inhibitors should not be prescribed for seasonal flu, but it can be used as a public health precautionary measure in cases of flu pandemics. Another published Cochrane review last 2014 confirms that there are small benefits on symptom relief, shortened duration of symptoms by 0.5 days (average). However there is little evidence that it prevents development of complications such as pneumonia. This review also suggests that neuraminidase inhibitors prevent disease person-person transmission. Do you think its worth it to prescribe Oseltamivir? Have you seen any significant benefit from it?

Yes I am still reeling with disappointed when I saw the prescription given by the private respiratory physician. The patient was full of satisfaction when she showed me the tamiflu and moxifloxacin. Have you seen such treatment before. I did once thought of giving prednisolone with tamiflu with acyclovir with moxifloxacin. It is not uncommon to see "very wholesome" treatment in private practice as they endeavored for profit.This is not all. I have seen other general practitioner treati...
 (Total 112 words)
It was concluded that the drug reduced the persistence of flu symptoms from seven days to 6.3 days in adults and to 5.8 days in children. But the report's authors said drugs such as paracetamol could have a similar impact. On claims that the drug prevented complications such as pneumonia developing, Cochrane suggested the trials were so poor there was "no visible effect". However, we must also note that the drug had a number of side-effects, including nausea, headaches, psychiatric...
 (Total 155 words)

When given promptly, oseltamivir can possibly shorten duration of symptoms by around 1.5 to 3 days. The benefit is greatest when given within 24 to 30 hours from the onset of symptoms. There is little or possibly no benefit, is given 2 days or more after the onset of influenza flu. The cohort of patients with severe disease, requiring hospital admission or with pneumonia, and those patients at high risk for complications (like age more than 65 years old, individual with chronic medical con...
 (Total 119 words)