Tamiflu Antiviral Flu Medication: Availability, Mixing and Dosing Options
Tamiflu is one of two antiviral medications that are effective
against the H1N1 pandemic virus. Tamiflu is available in capsule
and liquid (oral suspension) formulations. There are millions of
treatment courses of Tamiflu in the U.S., and Roche continues to
make all formulations of Tamiflu. However, deliveries of the
liquid form to some locations are going to be sporadic this fall.
To ensure that Roche can meet public health needs during the H1N1
pandemic, they have increased production of the 75 mg capsules
that can be used by adults OR converted to a liquid for
children. This allows for the antiviral to be available to
whomever may need it. By doing this, the medicine will be
available to 25 times the number of children in the same amount
of time it would normally take to make liquid version for one
Pharmacists may need to compound a liquid suspension using
Tamiflu capsules and instructions were approved by the FDA
in 2006. Instructions are included in the Tamiflu package insert.
To assist pharmacists and physicians, Roche developed these
pharmacists– Instructions for emergency
compounding of oral suspension from 75 mg capsules (to be used
when liquid suspension is not available).
physicians/prescribers– Dosing card with
overview of available formulations and dosing recommendations
for adults and children.
Roche distributed a letter to U.S. pharmacists and other
healthcare professionals to remind them to ensure that the units
of measure written on the prescription for liquid formulations of
Tamiflu are consistent with the units of measure on the device
used to administer the medicine. Get more information
Health professionals may direct questions to the Roche
Pharmaceuticals Service Center at 1-800-526-6367.
Tamiflu is recommended by the CDC for treatment and prevention of
seasonal influenza as well as pandemic H1N1 influenza. Get more
CDC also recently issued specific information for pharmacists
regarding antivirals. Get more information here.