TAMIFLU (Tm) - Factsheet
Tamiflu® (oseltamivir) Fact Sheet
Tamiflu is an antiviral medicine. It is NOT a vaccine.1
It belongs to a group of medicines called neuraminidase inhibitors. These medicines attack the influenza virus and stop it spreading further inside your body.1
Tamiflu is active against influenza virus types A and B and can be used in people over one year of age.1
Tamiflu needs to be taken as soon as possible within the first or second day of onset of symptoms.1
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated that the Mexican Swine Influenza virus is sensitive to Tamiflu2
Taking Tamiflu can prevent you catching influenza or if you have already caught influenza it can make the symptoms less severe and help you recover faster.1
38 percent reduction in the severity of symptoms4
67 percent reduction in respiratory complications requiring antibiotics, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, in otherwise healthy individuals5
37 percent reduction in the duration of influenza illness3
*compared to placebo.
Tamiflu is taken orally, either as a capsule or a liquid formulation.1
The adult treatment dose for seasonal influenza is one capsule (75 mg) twice daily for 5 days. For prevention of influenza following close contact with an infected individual the adult dose is one capsule (75 mg) daily for at least 10 days or in community outbreak once daily for up to 6 weeks.1
Tamiflu is well tolerated with the most common side effects being nausea and vomiting3
Between 1st May and 30th September each year, Tamiflu may be supplied by a pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription for the TREATMENT of influenza in patients 12 years and older presenting in person to a pharmacist with early influenza symptoms (within 48 hours). Note that a pharmacist is not permitted to supply Tamiflu for prevention of influenza without a prescription and people must see their doctor in this instance. 7
A prescription from a doctor is required when Tamiflu is used:
For treatment of children <12 years of age1,7
For prevention of influenza1,7
For the treatment of influenza in patients 12 years and older between 1st October and 30th April 1,7
Differences between symptoms of influenza and the common cold6
Signs & Symptoms
Aches and pains
Fatigue and weakness
Usually present, high
Common and often severe
Can last up to two-three weeks
Very common initially
Mild to moderate, hacking cough
Adapted from MedBroadcast, Influenza. Available from www.medbroadcast.com
Tamiflu is a prescription medicine. If you have any further questions on any of the information above, talk to your doctor or consult the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) at www.medsafe.govt.nz
1. Tamiflu® (oseltamivir) Data Sheet. Roche Products (
2. WHO. Influenza-like illness outbreak in the
3. Nicholson KG et al. Efficacy and safety of oseltamivir in treatment of acute influenza: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2000;355:1845-1850.
4. Treanor JJ et al. Efficacy and safety of the oral neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir in treating acute influenza: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2000;283:1016–24.
5. Kaiser L et al. Impact of oseltamivir treatment on influenza–related lower respiratory tract complications and hospitalizations. Arch Intern Med 2003;163:1667-1672.
6. The difference between influenza and the common cold. MedBroadcast. Available from http://www.medbroadcast.com/channel_health_features_details.asp?health_feature_id=69&article_id=147&channel_id=2014&relation_id=13311 Accessed April 2009.
7. Medsafe. Extract from