If you wonder what does this weird Oseltamivir have to do with swine flu symptoms, you have to know that the connection is quite simple. Oseltamivir is the drug marketed as Tamiflu, the vaccine used to battle swine flu. This is an antiviral drug which helps the body by stopping the spreading of influenza. The role of the drug is to cut the chemical ties of the virus with the host cell. Sold as Tamiflu, the drug can be found either as capsules or as an oral suspension. Since 1999, when it first appeared on the market, Oseltamivir is used to prevent the infection with Influenza A virus and influenza B virus.
Oseltamivir or Tamiflu, how it was popularized, is mainly used to prevent the viruses that lead to influenza A and B. One of the major problems that appeared in time is that its effectiveness cannot be proven. The manufacturer of the drug, Hoffman – La Roche refused several times to offer data for independent analysis. However, in 2009 a review of the vaccine was published in Great Britain. According to this, Tamiflu does not offer so important benefits for previously healthy adults who displayed swine flu symptoms and received the vaccine in less than 24 hours since these appeared. The drug can be considered useful in what concerns reducing the duration of the swine flu symptoms, but its effects on patients with high risk complications is not known. For a better understanding of how the treatment works, Oseltamivir should be compared at least with paracetamol.
It is recommended that the doctors prioritize the usage of the drug, which should first be offered to children under the age of 2, pregnant women, people over 65, patients with chronic illnesses and those with severe conditions and children under 19 which are under a long-term aspirin therapy. In the United States of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as CDC, recommend empiric treatment too for people who are suspected to have flu symptoms, no matter their age or condition.
One of the problems the producer of the drug needs to deal with is that Oseltamivir is often associated with strong and serious side effects. If the most common secondary effects include nausea, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea, the rarest are hepatitis, colitis, seizure, depression, hallucinations, allergic reactions and the Steven-Johnson syndrome.
In Japan, the Health Ministry warned doctors not to offer the drug to children between the ages of 10 and 19 and decided to include on the leaflet accompanying the drug the neurological and psychological disorders which can appear as side effects of Oseltamivir. According to data released by the same ministry, 15 people between 10 and 19 years old committed suicide in a period of three years, and all of them did this after taking the infamous vaccine. After these tragic deaths, a study was made in Japan, proving that children that took the drug were 54% more likely to exhibit unusual behavior compared to those that didn’t had the vaccine.
In its defense, the company that produces Tamiflu states that the drug saved the lives of 50,000,000 people since its release on the market and ask consumers to take into account the fact that the flu itself may cause psychological problems.
If Oseltamivir is really helpful or is just a scam, it’s hard to prove. The biggest concern in the medical community is to defend people of a possible future flu pandemic.