Conflicting views on Tamiflu

30-11-2006 | |

Recent changes to the Tamiflu’s product information leaflet indicate that it poses a risk of dangerous behaviour in patients who take it.

Tamiflu’s manufacturer, Roche, has issued updated information about the product precautions, indicating that Tamiflu can cause a patient to become delirious and harm him or her self. Self-injury, confusion and delirium are not uncommon, Roche says in a letter to health care professionals, especially if it’s taken by a child.
The World Health Organisation has called Tamiflu the world’s best defence against avian influenza.
World governments have stockpiled millions of doses of the drug oseltamivir, marketed as Tamiflu, even though medical experts have conflicting opinions about whether it is actually effective against bird flu in humans.
In spite of the fact that avian influenza is not readily transmissible between humans, reports indicate that the UK government has bought 14.6 million doses of the drug, while the US government has 20 million doses.
Because viruses mutate so frequently, it may be unlikely that currently available vaccines would be effective against any future emerging strain that could pass easily between humans.
Roche maintains that “Governments can be confident that Tamiflu remains a critical drug, as recommended by the WHO, for stockpiling to prepare for an influenza pandemic and for physicians and patients to treat and prevent flu when it hits”.

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