Let's Learn About ... Tamiflu
A pediatrician on how effective presciption medicine is in fight against the flu
Alright let's talk Tamiflu.
At Willow Park, we are getting tons of calls for it if a child has been exposed, a parent has been exposed, a neighbor has it, your dog sniffed someone's bum who had the flu two weeks ago, etc....
Ask most physicians about Tamiflu and we'll tell you...."Meh." Tamiflu is helpful, but is not vital to getting over the flu.
- It is not a "cure" for the flu. It allows for recovery one day faster than if you did not take anything.
- It is expensive.
- It does not come without side effects (especially tummy side effects) - sometimes worse than the symptoms of the flu!
- It works best only if started within 48 hours of symptoms appearing.
Tamiflu is important to use and prophylax in children who have underlying medical issues - think asthma, diabetes, immune system deficiency. It is also indicated for use in children under age 5 if the child has the flu, or has a close contact with the flu.
It is NOT needed for healthy older children who are not symptomatic.
The best way to not catch the flu/get a milder version of the flu is to get the flu vaccine yearly!
About the Author
Dr. Diane Arnaout joined the Cook Children's Willow Park practice in 2011. Dr. Arnaout was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She served as a leader on the medical education committees during her internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in the Texas Medical Center at Houston, Texas.