Tamiflu May Help Children Avoid Spreading or Getting the Flu
If you have a patient with flu symptoms, prescribing Tamiflu as postexposure prophylaxis may help reduce transmission of influenza in the household.1,23
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends prophylaxis with antivirals for:
- Postexposure prophylaxis for high-risk family members and close contacts of an infected individual.33
- Prevention for unvaccinated family members who are likely to have ongoing, close exposure to unvaccinated children at high risk (including infants and toddlers younger than 2 years of age).33
TAMIFLU is indicated for prophylaxis of influenza in patients 1 year and older.1 TAMIFLU is not indicated for prophylaxis for children aged 2 weeks to less than 1 year.
About the study
Results are from a randomized, open-label, postexposure prophylaxis study in households that included children aged 1 to 12 years, both as index cases and family contacts. The primary efficacy parameter was the incidence of laboratory-confirmed clinical influenza in the household (n=201). In this study, all index cases received Tamiflu Oral Suspension 30 mg to 60 mg once daily for 10 days.
How children respond differently to the flu29
- Children can shed virus earlier, even before illness begins and for longer periods once illness starts.
- Viral shedding for up to 21 days (median 7-8 days) in children has been recorded.
Children less than 5 years of age are at high risk of serious flu-related complications.30
- On average each year, 20,000 children less than 5 years of age are hospitalized due to influenza complications.
Tamiflu has not been proven in pivotal trials to reduce mortality, hospitalization rates, or outpatient visits, nor is it a substitute for early and annual vaccination.
Prescribing Tamiflu for pediatric treatment1
Tamiflu is available for pediatric patients. Learn more ›
Limitations of Use
The following points should be considered before initiating treatment with Tamiflu:
- Efficacy of Tamiflu in patients who begin treatment after 48 hours of symptoms has not been established.1
- Tamiflu is not a substitute for early influenza vaccination on an annual basis as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.12, 13, 18, 27
- There is no evidence for efficacy of Tamiflu in any illness caused by agents other than influenza virus Types A and B.1
- Influenza viruses change over time. Emergence of resistant mutations could decrease drug effectiveness. Other factors (for example, changes in viral virulence) might also diminish clinical benefit of antiviral drugs. Prescribers should consider available information on influenza drug susceptibility patterns and treatment effects when deciding whether to use Tamiflu.13
Important Safety Information
Cases of anaphylaxis and serious skin reactions including toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and erythema multiforme have been reported in postmarketing experience with Tamiflu. Tamiflu should be stopped and appropriate treatment instituted if an allergic-like reaction occurs or is suspected.1
Please see the Tamiflu full Prescribing Information for complete safety information.
Next Step: Learn about dosing and storage ›
Did you know?
In a clinical study, Tamiflu prophylaxis reduced postexposure flu transmission in children aged 1-12 years by 82%.23