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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using oseltamivir (Tamiflu)?
Oseltamivir should not be used in place of getting a yearly flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommends an annual flu shot to help protect you each year from new strains of influenza virus.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to oseltamivir.
Before taking oseltamivir, tell your doctor if you have used a nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) within the past 2 weeks, or if you have:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether oseltamivir is harmful to an unborn baby. However, not receiving this medication to prevent influenza could be harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that oseltamivir could prevent. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive oseltamivir, especially if you have a high risk of infection with H1N1 influenza (also called "swine" flu).
It is not known whether oseltamivir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 1 year old.
How should I take oseltamivir (Tamiflu)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Treatment with oseltamivir should start as soon as possible when flu symptoms appear, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose.
Take the oseltamivir capsule with a full glass of water.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with the syringe provided with the medicine. Do not measure the medicine with a regular table spoon. If you do not have the syringe or another medicine dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
You may take oseltamivir with or without food. If the medicine upsets your stomach, it may help to take it with food or milk.
To treat flu symptoms: Take oseltamivir every 12 hours for 5 days.
To prevent flu symptoms: Take oseltamivir every 24 hours for 10 days or as prescribed. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Use this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Store oseltamivir capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Store oseltamivir liquid in the refrigerator but do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 10 days.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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