Influenza Season - Do I Need Tamiflu?

Influenza Season - Do I Need Tamiflu?
Posted on 01/05/2020
influenza childArticle by  Dr. Lisa Engel

So you think you have the flu. Now what? For the vast majority of people the best treatment for influenza is rest, fluids, and fever reducing medication. However, Tamiflu is an anti-viral prescription medication that also has a role in fighting influenza. Unlike antibiotics, Tamiflu does not “cure” influenza. Influenza usually causes high fever, chills, body aches, cough, and runny nose for 7 days. Tamiflu can shorten this to 5-6 days. It can also decrease the risk of serious complications and hospitalization from influenza. Tamiflu works best if started within 2 days of the onset of fever from influenza. Tamiflu comes in a liquid or capsule that you take twice a day for 5 days. The capsule can also be opened and the medication mixed with applesauce or chocolate syrup.

Tamiflu has some potential side effects to be aware of. It can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. It can potentially cause an allergic reaction (although this is rare). Also, Tamiflu has variable coverage by insurance companies and its retail price ranges from $100-$150.

We here at North Scottsdale Pediatrics recommend Tamiflu for children at high risk for complications from influenza. This includes children under 5 years of age (definitely under 2 years of age) and any person with a chronic medical condition including asthma, heart disease, or a neuromuscular disorder. Tamiflu may also be discussed for any person with confirmed influenza who started with fever within the last 2 days.

If you have any further questions about influenza or Tamiflu, talk to your provider. Have a happy and healthy winter season!

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480)-860-8488
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480)-860-8488

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