We often hear of the antiviral drug Tamiflu being perscribed to lessen the length and severity of the flu. Sounds great, right? But what risks come along with that?

Many doctors and health professionals also agree that the risks of Tamiflu far outweigh the benefits.

"When you understand that the preschool analogy of foreign invaders (germs) fighting your inner soldiers (immune system) has been rendered obsolete by our awareness of the microbiome (including the virome!), and the poetic reality that we are made up of the very organisms we thought that we were fighting…well, then pharmaceutical medicine seems something like cutting off your nose to spite your face."

"It is interesting to see that Roche designed and performed studies to support that their own product is safe and effective against the flu.

Is that not what we call a conflict of interest? How can we trust those studies?

In a news article from January 24, 2018, the mother of a five-year-old girl who experienced severe hallucinations and seizure-like symptoms stated, “The flu is bad, it’s horrible, you feel helpless your child’s sick…I would take that a hundred times over the reaction she had to the Tamiflu.”

In conclusion, Tamiflu is dangerous, has major side effects, and is not recommended. Good alternatives for flu prevention is to maintain a good vitamin D level and avoidance of sugar."

So what do those studies say?

"CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest Tamiflu use could induce sudden deterioration leading to death especially within 12 hours of prescription. These findings are consistent with sudden deaths observed in a series of animal toxicity studies, several reported case series and the results of prospective cohort studies. From "the precautionary principle" the potential harm of Tamiflu should be taken into account and further detailed studies should be conducted."

"Serious adverse events were first reported during post-marketing surveillance from Japan, UK, and subsequently from other places although most of the published articles did not report them. A recent Cochrane review and a series of articles in British Medical Journal (BMJ) have revealed the truth behind oseltamivir success story, which incidentally is one of the highest revenue earners for Roche. It is inexplicable that despite the lack of scientifically robust data on efficacy and safety of Oseltamivir, reputed organizations like World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), EMA, US FDA not only recommended the drug in question for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza but its stockpiling as well.

This fiasco essentially provides us with an opportunity to articulate tangible lessons so as to guard against such scientific transgressions in the future. There is a need to consider changes in the process of introduction of a new drug in the public health care system and to bring greater accountability and transparency in the way we practice science.

 

The Japanese Saga

Independent events of “abnormal behavior and disturbance of consciousness” and few deaths after oseltamivir intake were reported in Japan. Japanese authorities initiated cohort studies in children. The initial studies were inconclusive except for a small increase in abnormal behavior on the 1st day after drug intake. However, an independent analysis of the data showed the oseltamivir to be associated with an increased risk of abnormal behavior by over 50% and significant occurrence of an unconscious state of mind on the 1st day after drug intake. Thus, Japan, which was once the biggest consumer of oseltamivir in the world, introduced a package insert warning against giving the drug to children and overall restricted use of this drug."

Lawsuits are being filed in many places

"​Following reports of children experiencing hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and committing self harm following use of Tamiflu, lawsuits are being evaluated against the makers of the flu medication, alleging that inadequate warnings were provided about the potential side effects of the antiviral flu drug."

Tamiflu Side Effects for Children May Do More Harm Than Good: Study

"In 2007, Japanese health officials were alarmed after at least 18 teens committed suicide after Tamiflu use during a seven month period. This resulted in a health warning in that country.

If parents and doctors had been adequately warned about the Tamiflu suicide risks, many families now indicate that they may have avoided devastating loss or injuries caused by self-harm. Closer monitoring for signs of suicidal thoughts or behavioral changes may have allowed for earlier intervention, or parents may have elected to use a different flu treatment.

The package insert states:
"Safety and efficacy of TAMIFLU for treatment of influenza in pediatric patients less than 2 weeks of age have not been established. Safety and efficacy of TAMIFLU for prophylaxis of influenza have not been established for pediatric patients less than 1 year of age."

What does the manufacturer say?

"Safety and efficacy of TAMIFLU for treatment of influenza in pediatric patients less than 2 weeks of age have not been established. Safety and efficacy of TAMIFLU for prophylaxis of influenza have not been established for pediatric patients less than 1 year of age."

Tamiflu Package Insert

Side Effects

Potential Benefits

Oseltamivir reduced the time to first alleviation of symptoms by 16.8 h and by 29 h in healthy children. The benefit of oseltamivir in asthmatic patients was insignificant.

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