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Adverse Reactions to Tamiflu Causing Concern

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rickster58 View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 11 2009 at 5:43pm

Drug to combat swine flu leaves '1,000 patients in suffering'

Officials insist Tamiflu is safe as reports of side effects continue to rise

By Steve Connor, Science editor

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Andrew%20Castle%20with%20his%20daughter%20Georgina,%20who%20was%20prescribed%20a%20double%20dose%20of%20Tamiflu%20because%20of%20her%20asthma

PA

Andrew Castle with his daughter Georgina, who was prescribed a double dose of Tamiflu because of her asthma

Health officials yesterday defended the Government's policy of giving the antiviral drug Tamiflu to everyone claiming to be suffering from the symptoms of swine flu despite more than 400 reports of adverse drug reactions since the start of the outbreak.

Critics of the policy of widespread distribution of Tamiflu have also warned that people who fail to complete the course of treatment may be fuelling the evolution of drug-resistant forms of the type of H1N1 influenza A virus behind the swine flu pandemic.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said yesterday that between 1 April and 6 August there had been 418 reports of adverse side effects to Tamiflu and a further 686 suspected cases of adverse reactions. Last week alone there were 125 reports of adverse side effects in people taking Tamiflu, although not all of them may be due to the drug, the MHRA said.

For the same four-month period, there were 10 reports of adverse reactions and 14 suspected side effects in people taking Relenza, the other anti-viral drug used to treat swine flu symptoms. Unlike Tamiflu, which is a pill taken orally, Relenza is taken as a nasal spray.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said that Britain is a world leader in monitoring the side effects of drugs and that this is done precisely so that health authorities can make sure that such treatments are safe and effective.

"Both Relenza and Tamiflu have been through rigorous safety and efficacy tests. They are effective against swine flu and help relieve the symptoms and length of infection," he said.

"As with many medicines, a small proportion of patients may experience some side effects, and nausea is one of them. Side effects are clearly indicated on patient information leaflets. A safety-first approach of offering antivirals to everyone remains a sensible and responsible way forward," he added.

About 300,000 people have been given Tamiflu since the start of the swine-flu outbreak and anyone who fulfils the criteria of the National Pandemic Flu Service can collect the drug free of charge after answering a series of questions about their symptoms on a questionnaire completed online or over the telephone.

A spokesman for the MHRA spokesman said that both Tamiflu and Relenza are acceptably safe medicines and that most people will not suffer any side effects. "The potential side effects are listed in the product information. The MHRA will continue to monitor the safety of Tamiflu and Relenza as their use increases during the swine-flu pandemic and we will take appropriate action should any new risks come to light," he said.

"There is a dedicated team which monitors the incoming reports from the public and healthcare professionals on an ongoing basis. The balance of risks and benefits for Tamiflu and Relenza remains positive," he added.

Tamiflu, which is manufactured by Roche, has vomiting and nausea listed as its main side effects on its packaging. A total of 11 per cent of adults and adolescents taking the drug experience nausea and 8 per cent suffer from vomiting, according to the summary of product characteristics.

Headaches are another side effect when the drug is taken preventatively rather than as a treatment. In children, the most commonly reported side effect is vomiting, with 15 per cent suffering it, and 10 per cent having diarrhoea. A total of 3 per cent of children will get nausea and 5 per cent have reported abdominal pain.

Andrew Castle: 'Tamiflu almost killed my daughter'

*Georgina Castle was one of the first people to suffer serious side effects from Tamiflu during a swine flu outbreak at her school in May. The 16-year-old was prescribed a double dose of the drug because she had asthma but within hours she was in hospital suffering from severe complications.

Yesterday her father, the GMTV presenter and former tennis star Andrew Castle, challenged the Health Secretary Andy Burnham live on television over the Government's policy of just "handing out" the drug without a proper diagnosis. Mr Castle said: "I can tell you that my child – who was not diagnosed at all – she had asthma, she took Tamiflu and almost died."

Mr Burnham said he sympathised with Mr Castle, saying it must have been "very worrying", but maintained that advice to parents to treat swine flu with Tamiflu remained unchanged.

Speaking after the programme Mr Castle said he had been shocked at how quickly his daughter's condition deteriorated. "She had a very quick descent and within 12 hours she had developed terrible breathing difficulties and seemed to be turning blue. We spoke to a GP friend of ours who advised us to call an ambulance. In the end she spent three days in hospital."

Mr Castle's wife Sophia said even at the hospital, doctors still wanted to give her the drug. "I told them: 'I don't want my daughter to have it,'" she said. "But they insisted. It was only when she tested negative for swine flu that they agreed to stop." Georgina went on to make a full recovery but her parents said they are still concerned that Tamiflu is being overprescribed while the side effects are not fully understood.

"I've told everybody I know: 'Don't give that drug to your child,'" said Mrs Castle.

"At Georgina's school we've heard stories about girls who took it getting depression during their A-levels."

Her husband added: "We've got a number of friends who are GPs and they are concerned about this. We appear to be handing out Tamiflu willy-nilly without being aware of its effects."

 
http://www.independent.co.uk:80/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/drug-to-combat-swine-flu-leaves-1000-patients--in-suffering-1770644.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mary008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2009 at 6:11pm


The 16-year-old was prescribed a double dose of the drug because she had asthma but within hours she was in hospital suffering from severe complications.

 "I told them: 'I don't want my daughter to have it,'" she said. "But they insisted. It was only when she tested negative for swine flu that they agreed to stop."


Mr Castle said: "I can tell you that my child "who was not diagnosed at all" she had asthma, she took Tamiflu and almost died."
.........................................
 
so.... was it that she had a dose before going to hospital?
 
and then another dose in hospital?
 
 
and then Hosp personnel stopped... when she tested Neg in Hosp?   They stopped? 
 
Did they intend on giving a third dose?
 
Is the sequence of events clear to anyone?
 
 
...........................
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mary008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2009 at 6:22pm
 
Doctors have rapid tests to identify the flu virus, but there is no rapid test to differentiate
 
swine influenza A H1N1 from other influenza A subtypes.


How can this be?  Billions spent and no test?  dumb.

 
 
This looks interesting.


A lot of info here.

 

http://organizedwisdom.com/helpbar/index.html?return=http://organizedwisdom.com/Early_Symptoms_of_Swine_Flu&url=www.wrongdiagnosis.com/s/swine_flu/symptoms.htm


 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote newgirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2009 at 6:10am
To me it sounded like "double dose" meant that because of her asthma she was to take 2 pills where other people take one.  I don't know the milligrams, but say (for example only)  if the average person takes 250mg, she was given 500mg?  I think she took just one "double" dose at home and then became very ill and went to the hospital.  I don't think she was given it at the hospital.

I am not sure what is up with all the false negatives but it sure is scary!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mary008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2009 at 10:14am
 
they have kits... but pricey
 
 
 
 
Influenza A Test Kit, a rapid qualitative assay that detects and differentiates influenza type A (incl. subtype H1N1)
 
_Rapid_Test_Kit.html?pn=2&pt=10&newId=106450343&cids=null#page960
 
 

Influenza A Rapid Test Kit

Brand Name: ZONG JIAN
Place of Origin: China
Payment Terms: L/C,T/T
Minimum Order Quantity: 1,000 Set/Sets
Supply Ability: 20,000 Set/Sets per Day
Package: 10 sets per box and/or 20 sets per box
Delivery Time: 15 days after receipt of payment
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HelenDownUnder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 1:09am

Hi there...

 
I took this medication and subsequently found out that I didn’t not have swine flu. I ended up with a severe case of urticaria (hives) after taking five tablets. I was treated unsuccessfully with antihistamines and was eventually treated with Steroids when I presented four days later with increasing urticaria and Angioedema, (swelling) which was then affecting my face and mouth. After a week on steroids the rash and swelling had reduced but I then ended up with a chest infection.

 

I am concerned, that my situations is similar to that reported in the media of a pregnant women in Perth whose baby was stillborn and then she died, who presented to hospital with a severe rash and also was subsequently found NOT have swine flu. Is there some relationship between taking this drug when you don't have the H1N1 virus... or is it merely an allergic reaction that would have happened at any time?

 
I find it interesting that I have never had an allergic reaction to any other drug. 
 
Would love to know if anyone else has heard of similar reactions?
 
HelenDownUnder! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ruthie23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 3:17am
Hi Helen
 
           My son, my eldest daughter and I had the h1n1 all within a few days of each other.  We were all PUt on tamiflu  1 tablet 2 times a day, NO REACTION at all, and I as I have posted before, with prayer being the first. tamiflu came in second and I really feel it prevented death in my family.. I Know for me personally and talking to the 2 of them. about 72 hours after the tamiflu I  knew we were all going to survive.
             I am sorry you had a reaction.
Hugs Ruthie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 5:43am
Helen, alot of times you can get a rash with whatever sickness you have, especially a strept type infection. I know every single time I get a sinus infection/bronchitis/strept throat etc. I always get a rash with it. This is something that has started happening within the last couple of years for me, but always happened before with strept.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 5:50am
As far as the original story, it sounds like (my opinion only) that she had H1N1 and that there was a false negative. The fast progression sounds like H1N1, not Tamiflu side effects.
 
When my DD had H1N1, she went from being perfectly healthy (the day before she had 2 hours of basketball practice, 2 hours of cheer practice and had run 8 miles on the treadmill that how good she felt) walking around like normal. To within 1-1/2 hours, I sat and watched or I would not believe it, to being curled up in a ball, cold & hot flashes, horrible hacking sounding cough, flushed face, headache, sore throat, extremely tired.
 
She started on Tamiflu within 8 hours of the onset of symptoms and recovered in 4 days, with no side effects from the Tamiflu. She has asthma, she was prescribed the regular dosing on the package. I was also given a prescription to have on hand, just in case. Neither hubby or I got it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 5:57am
I guess I should add, in our case we were at the doctor when she came down with it, because I was being seen and she was with me. They took her right in after me. If I would have waited 12 hours (like the girl in the story above) to take her in she could have very well been much, much worse by then. I knew what I was dealing with though, I knew this was it, I knew she had been exposed twice that week also to 2 different people at achool also.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mahshadin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 8:11am
I have had 2 in my family with this virus and both were treated with Tamiflu. My daughter experienced an upset stomach, but difficult to tell if that was the disease or the tamiflu treatment. My wife did develop a rash on her forhead the last day of treatment and it persisted through the following week, and then was gone with minor at home treatment.
 
We did report the second as it seemed related to the tamiflu treatment
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."   G Orwell
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinijocaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 8:41am
My 7 year old asthmatic daughter was not prescribed tamiflu, I asked for it and got it.  She had no stomach upset with H1N1-it wasn't until 20 minutes after her first dose of tamiflu that she got severe nausea-never vomited but really wanted to. the nausea was gone and I didn't give her any more tamiflu.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 2:57pm
My grandson also took Tamiflu vecause he was exposed, but didn't actually have it. He didn't have any side effects either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2009 at 8:06pm
My teen had H1N1 and I gave him Tamiflu and he did great with it. In fact he told me he felt better faster due to the Tamiflu.

No matter what drug people take some people have problems. Just a fact with drugs.
Always Be Prepared
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2009 at 3:19pm
Originally posted by FluMom FluMom wrote:

My teen had H1N1 and I gave him Tamiflu and he did great with it. In fact he told me he felt better faster due to the Tamiflu.

No matter what drug people take some people have problems. Just a fact with drugs.
 
So true FluMom! The side effects listed for any drug usually sound horrible. I always read possible side effects of anything I take, but rarely have had any side effects with most drugs, except I am allergic to penicillin and sulpha drugs and codeine makes me sick.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2009 at 8:27pm
LOL, Penham, I read those small lettered information sheets on every new drug my family takes. Scares me to death!! Years ago after the death of our son my husband was a little depressed and a doctor gave him an anti-depressant well I read the drug sheet. When I came to the part that said he could have an errection for over 4 hours and would need to see a doctor!! LOL, he was such a modest man he wouldn't take the drug for fear of that reaction. I told him how many nurses he could make happy. We laughted about this for several weeks...well his depression became better so I guess the drug worked but not the way anyone thought it would!

P.S. He would kill me even if he is dead, if he knew I told that story. LOL! He had such a sense of humor, I miss him so much!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mary008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2009 at 9:16pm
We laughted about this for several weeks
............................................
.
Laughter is the best medicine... you have nice memories of him, made me smile.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hotair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2009 at 11:06am
Flumom,that is hysterical.It made me smile too.Thanks for sharing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2009 at 2:34pm

FluMom, that is sooo funny! I am sitting here laughing. 

I know those little sheets that come with the meds list every possible thing that could happen, LOL. If everyone actually read them, they would probably think the drugs are going to kill me before whatever sickness I have will. I know they have to do it just to cover themselves, but they are kind of scary when you actually read them.

My 13 year old actually started doing better on the Tamiflu within about 24 hours of starting it. She has asthma, so the pediatrician wanted to start it quick, so she wouldn't develop  pneumonia.
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