What Is Oseltamivir Used For?
What is oseltamivir used for? Oseltamivir is used to prevent and treat influenza (the virus that causes the flu). If a person has been in close contact with someone who has the flu, or if a community outbreak occurs, oseltamivir may be taken as a preventive measure. If a person already has the flu, this medication can reduce the length of the illness by one to two days.
What Is Oseltamivir Used For?Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) is a medication that has been licensed for two purposes:
Oseltamivir has not been shown to be effective against other types of viruses, including viruses that cause the stomach flu or common cold. Oseltamivir is actively being studied to learn how effective it is at treating bird flu (avian flu).
Treatment of Influenza
Oseltamivir is effective against the two most common influenza viruses -- Influenza A and Influenza B. The 2009 H1N1 strain is an Influenza A virus, and oseltamivir is expected to be effective against H1N1 influenza. For oseltamivir to be effective, however, it must be started within one to two days of the first flu symptoms.
Oseltamivir is intended to decrease the amount of time you have symptoms of the flu. In clinical studies, the drug has been shown to decrease this amount by one to two days. Oseltamivir may also help prevent the spread of flu to others.
Oseltamivir is approved for treating the flu in adults and children two weeks of age and older.
Prevention of Influenza
Oseltamivir is also used to decrease the chances of developing flu symptoms in the first place. It can be used for flu prevention in adults, as well as in children 1 year of age and older. Oseltamivir may be recommended to prevent the flu if a person has been in close contact with someone who has the flu or if a community outbreak of flu occurs. However, oseltamivir should not be used in place of yearly vaccinations with the flu vaccine.