Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doctor Advises Caution Over Flu Drug

Date:
June 16, 2007
Source:
British Medical Journal
Summary:
A senior doctor advises caution over the use of the antiviral drug oseltamivir. His concern follows advice by the Japanese authorities in March 2007 against prescribing oseltamivir to adolescents after the separate suicides of two 14-year-olds who jumped to their deaths while taking the drug.

In the British Medical Journal, a senior doctor advises caution over the use of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

Related Articles


His concern follows advice by the Japanese authorities in March 2007 against prescribing oseltamivir to adolescents after the separate suicides of two 14 year olds who jumped to their deaths while taking the drug.

So far, oseltamivir has been thought to be well tolerated and safe, but the recent events in Japan have prompted a reappraisal, writes Simon Maxwell from the University of Edinburgh.

Before 2007, there had already been more than 100 reports of neuropsychiatric events (including delirium, convulsions, and encephalitis) with oseltamivir in children, almost entirely from Japan, which has the highest usage of oseltamivir worldwide. But a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review concluded that these events were not clearly drug related.

Since last November, the FDA has required that doctors be warned that patients should be closely monitored for signs of abnormal behaviour throughout the treatment period and the European Medicine Evaluation Agency (EMEA) took similar steps in February.

In the UK, oseltamivir is a "black triangle" drug so it remains under more intensive surveillance and healthcare professionals are asked to report all minor as well as serious adverse events.

The controversy about oseltamivir is a further reminder that, although common adverse effects of a drug may emerge in prelicensing studies, the detection of rarer and potentially more serious events has to await exposure of large numbers of patients, he says.

In the light of these concerns, how should prescribers proceed?

There seems little doubt that oseltamivir reduces the number and seriousness of flu episodes when used as treatment and prophylaxis, he says. However, the impact of such events in otherwise healthy people is usually modest and of short duration, so they should be encouraged to use conservative strategies such as resting, increasing fluid intake, and taking simple analgesics.

In people at higher risk of serious complications the potential benefit of treatment seems greater, although convincing evidence about reductions in hospital admission or mortality is still awaited, he writes. In these groups, vaccination still offers a cost effective first line of defence. Content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended as treatment advice of any kind.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Medical Journal. "Doctor Advises Caution Over Flu Drug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070615075545.htm>.
British Medical Journal. (2007, June 16). Doctor Advises Caution Over Flu Drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070615075545.htm
British Medical Journal. "Doctor Advises Caution Over Flu Drug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070615075545.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins