Tamiflu belongs to a classification of medications known as anti-virals. It is often used as both a preventative measure and for the treatment of influenza (flu). Tamiflu is the only medication scientifically proven to fulfil this purpose and has been licensed since 1999.
Efficiency of Tamiflu
Tamiflu’s effectiveness has been proven through numerous studies that have been undertaken during outbreaks of influenza. It has been shown to speed up the healing process in those who contract influenza by 30%. To ensure Tamiflu can have the maximum effect it should be taken as soon as symptoms of flu are experienced.
How does Tamiflu work?
Tamiflu contains the active ingredient oseltamivir phosphate. Oseltamivir phosphate is a medication described as a neuraminidase inhibitor. Flu is caused by a virus that infects the body and enters human cells. Once inside the cells the virus replicates creating duplicate of itself that go on to do the same thing. In order to exit the cell and spread the virus to other cells it uses an enzyme found on the cells surface known as neuraminidase. Neuraminidase inhibitors like Tamiflu work by binding to this enzyme and preventing it being used by the virus to spread the infection. By preventing the virus from leaving the cell and spreading this results in a quicker recovery time and symptoms that are less severe than those felt by patients not taking Tamiflu.
Tamiflu should be taken as soon as symptoms of influenza are experienced but can be taken up to 48 hours after. It can also be taken by individuals who have been in contact with people who have been infected with the influenza virus in order to prevent the virus from taking hold. If being taken as a preventative measure Tamiflu can be taken straight away and continued for up to 6 weeks.
How much Tamiflu to take?
If flu has already been contracted with the associated presenting symptoms Tamiflu should be taken as indicated by a medical professional usually twice a day for a period of five days. If utilising Tamiflu as a preventative measure it should be taken as indicated by a medical professional usually once a day for a period of ten days.
Some people also take Tamiflu for protection during the season when influenza rates are at there highest, if taken for this purpose it can be taken for up to a 6 week period.