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Tamiflu Side Effects

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is a prescription medication which can cause side effects during the course of your treatment. Not everyone experiences side effects, but they can occur at any stage as individuals will react differently to the medication, although it is more likely to occur early on in the treatment. If any side effects should persist, then it is important to contact a doctor and discuss your treatment options.


Mild headaches are commonly reported side effects of Tamiflu. Dizziness and tiredness may also occur.


An upset stomach is also a common side effect, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.


Skin reactions such as inflammation of the skin and an itchy rash are uncommon but may occur.


Though uncommon, liver function disorders such as hepatitis may occur. You should notify a doctor immediately if you feel you may be suffering from a hepatic disorder.

Tamiflu side effects

Click on the relevant area of the body to find out about how it may be affected by Tamiflu

Some of the common side effects of Tamiflu are:

  • Headaches and nausea
  • Diarrhoea and abdominal pain
  • Indigestion and tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping, bad dreams
  • Dizziness and nosebleeds
  • Conjunctivitis and skin rashes
  • Liver inflammation

Less common side effects that can be experienced are convulsions and psychiatric events, such as abnormal behaviour, a lack of concentration, decreased consciousness, delirium and hallucinations. These less common side effects, however, are mainly reported to effect children and adolescents, although some adults have experienced episodes of depression.

Can anyone take Tamiflu?

More recently, doctors are moving away from prescribing Tamiflu so freely as a preventative or treatment for influenza. During the recent swine flu pandemic, Tamiflu was relied upon heavily to slow the spread of the virus, but now doctors are starting to be more selective in who they prescribe it too.

There is a certain group of people though, that are at risk of developing more medical complications if they take Tamiflu. They need to be cautious when using the medication. If you have a weakened immune system, either as the result strong medications like chemotherapy, or diseases like cancer or HIV/AIDS, you may need to be cautious when taking this medication, as the side effects could be more severe.

People must be cautious if they take Tamiflu instead of a flu vaccination. It is only effective when you take it. People who take it to prevent flu for an entire season must be aware that they are not, in fact, protected. You can only protect against flu over the long-term by getting vaccinations.

Who shouldn’t take it?

People who suffer from a decreased kidney function, or who are on dialysis for kidney failure should not take this medicine. The Tamiflu side effects may be too severe, and the drug itself could directly harm your body.

To avoid severe Tamiflu side effects, what can I do?

To try and avoid experiencing any of the side effects at a higher severity level, you should:

  • Take the medication regularly, as prescribed, and complete the full course
  • Do not use it as a substitute for the flu vaccination
  • Do not use it as a continual prevention throughout the flu season

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