Tamiflu Now Approved For Babies Two Weeks Old
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now suggesting the use of Tamiflu to treat flu symptoms in children as young as two weeks old. Prior to this expansion, which the FDA recently made, Tamiflu was only suggested for children over the age of one.
Drug can be administer to babies
Dosage will depend on the baby’s weight and can be given to a child showing flu symptoms for less than two days.
“Pharmacists must provide the proper dispenser when filling a prescription so parents can measure and administer the correct dose to their children,” said Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Parents and pediatricians must make sure children receive only the amount of Tamiflu appropriate for their weight.”
According to a press release from the FDA, Tamiflu is the only product approved to treat flu infection in children younger than 1 year old, providing an important treatment option for a vulnerable population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children younger than 2 years are at higher risk for developing complications from the flu, with the highest rates of hospitalization in those less than 6 months of age.
Flu season arrives early, hits hard
The flu season has arrived early this year, and health experts it to pack a punch. Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas are dealing with the highest flu rates, according to CDC. Georgia and Missouri are also seeing moderately high levels of flu.
“This is the earliest regular flu season we’ve had in nearly a decade, since the 2003-2004 flu season,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said during a recent press conference. “That was an early and severe flu year. While flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases plus the strain we are seeing suggests it could be a bad flu year.”