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Oseltamivir

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VOL: 101, ISSUE: 50, PAGE NO: 32

GENERIC AND PROPRIETARY NAMES

 

GENERIC AND PROPRIETARY NAMES
- Oseltamivir.

 

 

- Tamiflu.

 

 

ACTION
- Inhibits viral neuraminidase and therefore reduces replication of viruses in influenza A and B.

 

 

CLASSIFICATION
- Antiviral drugs - influenza.

 

 

INDICATIONS
- Postexposure prophylaxis for at-risk adults and adolescents who are not protected by influenza immunisation, and treatment of at-risk adults for whom medication can be started within 48 hours of close contact exposure, are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

 

 

- NICE recommendations include prophylaxis in residential care homes, regardless of immunisation status, if commenced within 48 hours, when influenza-like illness is present in the establishment.

 

 

CAUTIONS
- Renal impairment.

 

 

- Pregnancy.

 

 

- Breastfeeding.

 

 

COMMON SIDE-EFFECTS
- Nausea.

 

 

- Vomiting.

 

 

- Abdominal pain.

 

 

- Dyspepsia.

 

 

- Diarrhoea.

 

 

- Headache.

 

 

- Fatigue.

 

 

- Insomnia.

 

 

- Dizziness.

 

 

- Conjunctivitis.

 

 

- Epistaxis.

 

 

- Rash.

 

 

RARE SIDE-EFFECTS
- Hypersensitivity reactions.

 

 

- Hepatitis.

 

 

- Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

 

 

ADMINISTRATION
- Capsules.

 

 

- Suspension.

 

 

NURSING CONSIDERATIONS
- For treatment to be most effective it should be started within a few hours of the onset of symptoms and continued for at least seven days (up to six weeks during an epidemic).

 

 

- NICE recommends that oseltamivir is not used for seasonal prophylaxis of influenza, postexposure prophylaxis or treatment in otherwise healthy individuals.

 

 

- Oseltamivir will not prevent the transmission of the influenza virus, therefore good hygiene and infection control practice should be maintained when in contact with infected individuals.

 

 

- The most effective method of preventing influenza infection is by annual immunisation and oseltamivir should not be seen as a substitute for vaccination.

 

 

- The Department of Health is procuring 14.6 million courses of oseltamivir as part of the UK’s preparation for an influenza pandemic.

 

 

PATIENT TEACHING
- Advise patients to take a missed dose as soon as remembered. If it is two hours or less until the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue regular dosing schedule.

 

 

- Ensure patients are aware of the importance of continuing their medication, even if they start to feel better, until they have completed the course.

 

 

- Nurses should refer to manufacturer’s summary of product characteristics and to appropriate local guidelines.

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