Coping Strategy For Lack Of Flu Vaccinations

Posted by Clark Venable on 10/17/2004

In discussing the issue of influenza vaccinations with your doctor, you should be aware that there are ways to treat the flu once you get it. One drug is called Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate). Relenza (Zanamivir) is another. Tamiflu comes in capsule and oral suspension form whereas Relenza is inhaled via 'diskhaler'. These drugs interfere with the ability of Influenza A and B to aggregate and be released from cells. Both are 'designer drugs' in that their molecular structures were created in the lab specifically for their anti-neuraminidase activity:

""What is Tamiflu used for?

Tamiflu is for treating adults, adolescents, and pediatric patients 1year of age and older with the flu whose flu symptoms started within the last day or two. Tamiflu is also used to reduce the chance of getting the flu in people age 13 and older who have a higher chance of getting the flu because they spend time with someone who has the flu. Tamiflu can also reduce the chance of getting the flu if there is a flu outbreak in the community." "


Though clearly not a substitute for flu shots, their lack of availability makes having a 'Plan B' necessary. If history is any guide, Tamiflu and Relenza will become commodity drugs just like ciprofloxacin was after the Anthrax scare.

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