Oseltamivir / Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that slows the spread of flu virus between cells by stopping the virus from chemically cutting ties with its host cell.
Oseltamivir is sold under the trade name of Tamiflu and has been used by over 50 million people since 1999. It is the most frequently prescribed flu treatment currently available.
The active ingredient in Tamiflu is Oseltamivir phosphate.
Treatment of the flu virus with Tamiflu must start within 48 hours of the initial symptoms. Tamiflu is perscribed not only to treat inflenza but also as prevention. In many cases those who live in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with flu, when the influenza virus is circulating in the community. Depending on the circumstances, higher risk groups are only normally prescribed it as a precautionary measure.
Tamiflu is currently being used to treat those people infected with swine flu. Click for more information on the Swine Flu Virus.
The most common side effects of taking Tamiflu are nausia and vomiting. It is suggested that the required dosage is taken with food to minimise these.