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Why is this medication prescribed?

Oseltamivir is used to treat some types of influenza (flu) in patients who have had symptoms of the flu for 2 days or less. Oseltamivir is in a class of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors. These drugs work by stopping the growth and spread of the flu virus in your body. Oseltamivir helps shorten the time you have flu symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, tiredness, headache, fever, and chills.

How should this medicine be used?

Oseltamivir comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice daily for five days. Oseltamivir may be taken with or without food. Oseltamivir can cause an upset stomach; you can lessen this side effect by taking oseltamivir with food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor pharmacist to explain any part that you do not understand. Take oseltamamivir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Continue to take oseltamivir even if you start to feel better. Do not stop taking oseltamivir without talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking oseltamivir,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to oseltamivir or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins and herbal products.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking oseltamivir, call you doctor immediately.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is 2 hours or less until the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from oseltamivir are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • difficulty sleeping
  • bronchitis
  • dizziness

Keep this medicine in the container it came in and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Oseltamivir will not stop you from giving the flu to others. You should maintain proper hygiene, wash your hands frequently, and avoid situations such as sharing cups and utensils that can spread the virus to others.

Oseltamivir does not replace the flu vaccine. You should continue to receive a flu shot each year if your doctor recommends it.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of the flu after you finish the oseltamivir, call your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT