As one of the worst flu seasons in the past few years comes to end, some experts are concerned one of the few prescription medications available to treat the flu may have potentially life threatening side effects. Tamiflu has been available for over a decade, but reports that it causes abnormal behavior, particularly in children, are becoming increasingly apparent. This has led some experts to the conclusion that Tamiflu isn’t right for every patient.
Tamiflu’s label includes a warning stating that individuals with the flu, including patients taking Tamiflu, may experience “delirium and abnormal behavior leading to injury.” These dangerous side effects were first noted in a clinical trial in Japan where researchers also observed “these events were reported primarily among pediatric patients…”
Because of these reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns “children and teenagers with the flu may be at a higher risk for seizures, confusion, or abnormal behavior early during their illness.” The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warns neuropsychiatric side effects have been reported with Tamiflu.
It is extremely difficult for researchers to determine the exact link between Tamiflu and neuropsychiatric side effects. While the flu itself can cause these side effects, it is also possible Tamiflu is causing these side effects with fatal results.
Reports of abnormal behavior resulting from the ingestion of Tamiflu this flu season included an Indiana teenager who committed suicide shortly after beginning treatment with Tamiflu. Reports have also included very young children, such as a six-year-old girl from Texas who suffered hallucinations and tried to jump out of a window.
While the link between Tamiflu and dangerous neuropsychiatric side effects has not yet been fully studied, extreme cases like these have caused some patients to wonder if the benefit is worth the risk. The trouble is that there are very few medications available to effectively fight the flu, and if left untreated in vulnerable patients, the flu can be fatal.
Patients Have A Right To Know All Of The Side Effects
Patients have a right to know all of the risks and side effects associated with a medication. Without full knowledge of risks, patients cannot make informed decisions about their medical care. When drug companies fail to disclose all of the risks and patients suffer injuries, they have a right hold the drug company responsible through filing a personal injury lawsuit.