Close X
Get more out of WDDTY.com
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
OR

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.


Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

Avian flu how safe is tamiflu?

About the author: 

It is hoped that, at best, Tamiflu may help avian flu victims in the first few days after catching the virus

It is hoped that, at best, Tamiflu may help avian flu victims in the first few days after catching the virus. It is specifically designed to treat symptoms of influenza A and B viruses. Nevertheless, while avian flu is an influenza A virus, each type has numerous subgroups that are determined by HA (haemagglutinin) and NA (neuraminidase) proteins. Altogether, there are 16 HA subtypes and nine NA subtypes, so an influenza A virus can have a unique chemical profile that makes it difficult to counteract with drugs.

More worrying is the safety profile of Tamiflu. The Japanese health authorities have reported that, so far, eight people have died after being given Tamiflu. Dr Rokuro Hama, head of the Japan Institute of Pharmaco-Vigilance, says that all of the victims have been children and adolescents between two and 17 years of age.

Two of the victims were teenage boys who behaved abnormally after being given the drug, said Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Tamiflu's distributor in Japan, according to an online website (SABCNews.com). Earlier this year, a 14-year-old boy, after taking one Tamiflu capsule, jumped or fell from the ninth floor of an apartment building. In another case from last year, a 17-year-old boy left his home during a snowstorm, and jumped in front of a truck and died after taking the drug. Doctors say that, in both these cases, the boys had not exhibited any abnormal behaviour before taking the drug.

In addition, Japan's health ministry has received reports of 64 cases of psychological disorders associated with the vaccine over the past four years.

This is not the first health alert for this drug. In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), America's drugs regulator, issued an alert that Tamiflu might be dangerous if taken by children younger than one year old. Following this warning, Roche issued a letter that instructed doctors not to prescribe the drug to very young children as animal studies had suggested that it could be fatal.

Both these reports are worrying developments for a drug that Roche had consistently maintained is 'well tolerated'. Side-effects were thought to be relatively benign and transitory, and include nausea and vomiting. Other effects that have been regularly reported include diarrhoea, bronchitis, stomach pain, dizziness and headache.

Tamiflu shouldn't be taken by anyone with kidney or liver disease, or any chronic condition. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are also not advised to take the drug as there are insufficient data from human studies to determine its safety.

Furthermore, although it is regularly given to children and adolescents, its safety has never been established in children younger than 18 years of age as a flu treatment, or among 13-year-olds as a preventative.


Nsaids and smokers big pharma giveth . . .

Sunlight and sunbeds

You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved