Written byDaniel Williams, MD
The H1N1 pandemic is here for the foreseeable future. While the popular media covers flu vaccines almost daily, not enough attention is given to treatment once the virus has been contracted.
Two medications are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Flu.Gov for the treatment of the flu and H1N1 “Swine” Flu: Tamiflu (Oseltamavir) and Relenza (Zanamavir).
Tamiflu treats patients as young as one year old, while Relenza doesn’t treat kids younger than seven. Both medications treat adults equally well.
The trick to treating viral flues is that the treatment has to be started within 72 hours of onset. By the time patients are diagnosed with the flu, a considerable amount of time has usually already passed. This makes treatment difficult unless you have a supply of a flu treatment medication, such as Tamiflu, in stock and ready to be given as soon as flu symptoms appear.
National shortages of the children’s version of Tamiflu have led some pharmacies to begin converting adult Tamiflu into children’s’ doses (which depends on the child’s weight). As the flu season approached full swing, it was reported that nearly every state was experiencing widespread outbreaks of H1N1, and the CDC and Obama Administration continued to monitor the situation closely.
Tamiflu has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of flu symptoms in significant proportions and has only mild side effects in a small percentage of adults, such as nausea and vomiting. Children should not take Tamiflu unless directed by their local doctor due to potential serious side effects including seizures.
Because Tamiflu is presently available, it makes sense to consider stocking this product in your home or office. Of course, Tamiflu is a prescription medication, so discuss this with your doctor.
Alternatively, you can order Tamiflu online by filling out a medical questionnaire. Then, a U.S.-licensed physician can consider writing a prescription for you, all from the privacy and safety of your own home. Adults must be 21 years of age to order Tamiflu online and only one order per adult may be placed per 12 months.
Further reading: Flu.Gov’s Prevention and Treatment Guidelines