First, and most importantly, we recommend that all children 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine. This is the best and most effective way to prevent your children from getting the flu. If you haven’t already, please call one of our offices to schedule a nurse visit to receive the flu vaccine.
At this time of year, we receive lots of letters from urgent care clinics in the area stating that a child has been diagnosed with the flu and been given Tamiflu, usually appropriately, but sometimes inappropriately. Tamiflu is ONLY indicated in children 2 weeks and older who have been symptomatic for LESS THAN 48 hours. When given in the first 48 hours of the illness, Tamiflu has been shown to reduce symptoms by only 1-2 days. Therefore, do not expect your child to improve immediately after being given Tamiflu.
After 48 hours, there is no evidence that Tamiflu has been shown to be effective and should’t be given unless your child is critically ill from the flu (meaning your child is in the ICU in the hospital). There are only a few, rare, reasons to give Tamiflu to children who have been exposed to influenza. We can explain those situations to you if this case should arise.
Just like antibiotics, inappropriate use of Tamiflu can lead to increase in resistance, decreasing the effectiveness of Tamiflu. If you have more questions refer to the CDC web site or call our office.