Oseltamivir is used to treat certain types of flu in adults and children over two weeks old where flu symptoms do not last for more than two days. Its intake helps reduce the duration of flu symptoms, including stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, muscle or joint pain, fatigue, headache, fever and chills. It can also be used to prevent some types of flu in adults and children who have already been at risk of infection the same year. Oseltamivir can also be effective in the treatment and prevention of bird flu.


What is Oseltamivir?

Oseltamivir is a neuraminidase enzyme inhibitor. Its action stops the spread of influenza virus in the body. In fact, the neuraminidase is involved in the final stages of the viral cycle, which facilitates the escape of the virus from the cells in which it is replicated, thus allowing their diffusion.


How should Oseltamivir be taken?

Oseltamivir may be prescribed in the form of capsules or in liquid suspension to be taken orally.

The treatment of symptoms of influenza typically involves the intake of Oseltamivir twice a day (morning and evening) for five days. The prevention on the other hand, requires a minimum of ten days that can last up to six weeks, with only one intake per day. It is best to take this medication with food or milk to reduce possible stomach problems.


Side effects associated with Oseltamivir

Possible side effects of Oseltamivir include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if Oseltamivir triggers:

  • Rash, hives or blisters on the skin
  • Mouth sores
  • Itch
  • Swelling of the tongue or face
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Flickering movements
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Oseltamivir

Oseltamivir is not a substitute for anti-flu vaccine which is why it is advised to consult with your doctor about the possibility of getting vaccinated.  


Before starting therapy with Oseltamivir, it is important to inform your doctor:

  • If you have any allergies to the active substance or any of its excipients
  • If you have never taken Oseltamivir before
  • If you are taking any other medicinal products, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular: drugs that affect the immune system, cyclosporin, chemotherapy, methotrexate, sirolimus, steroids (by mouth) and tacrolimus
  • If you suffer (or have suffered) from conditions that affect the immune system (including AIDS and HIV infection) or heart disease, lung or kidney disease
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding


Those who are intolerant to fructose must also remember that the Oseltamivir suspension is sweetened with sorbitol.