Tamiflu Side Effects in Children of Serious Concern, Warn British Researchers
Tamiflu side effects, along with side effects of other antivirals, are frequent and often serious, according to two studies carried out by England’s Health Protection Agency and published in the scientific journal Eurosurveillance. Researchers studied the side effects suffered by 11- and 12-year old children after an epidemic earlier this year (2009) during which all the the children in classrooms where another child had the flu were given the drug.
51% of the 248 children experienced side effects, including nausea, headaches, and stomach aches.
Even more serious, almost one-fifth of the children -- 18% -- suffered neuropsychiatric side effects. CNN reported that these neuropsychiatric side effects included "poor concentration, inability to think clearly, problems sleeping, feeling dazed or confused, bad dreams or nightmares and ‘behaving strangely’", according to researchers. (1)
Similar news, along with some advice, was published in a Reuters release on August 10, 2009.
Tamiflu Side Effects Make it Inappropriate for Routine Use in Children, Researchers Advise
After analyzing a review of seven clinicial studies involving 2,629 children between the ages of one and twelve, British researchers said in August 2009 that antivirals such as Tamiflu and Relenza should not be routinely given to children. The researchers concluded that the antivirals are more harmful than helpful, and add that there isn’t sound evidence of their preventing complications of the flu, either.
As far as efficacy in reducing transmission of flu, they found a mere 8% reduction in transmission, along with a scant one day shorter duration of the flu in those treated. Yet many of the children who took them had potentially serious side effects. Even vomiting, one of the most common of the side effects (along with headache) can be serious, especially in children, because of the risk of dehydration.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers advocated caution for an additional reason: "the potential for developing resistant strains of influenza."
The University of Oxford’s Dr. Matthew Thompson, one of the researchers, believes these conclusions apply to the current outbreak of swine flu,which he considers relatively mild at the moment.
The analysis was based on a systematic review of seven clinical studies looking at use of Tamiflu and Relenza in seasonal flu outbreaks in 2,629 children aged 1 to 12 years. Both these studies and those published in Eurosurveillance were carried out on children given the antivirals during flu outbreaks. (2)
These reports about Tamiflu side effects highlight the importance of doing all within your power to educate yourself about the potential risks, as well as the supposed benefits, of any medication, whether prescription or over the counter, you may be considering giving your child, or taking yourself. Arming yourself with as complete a picture as possible empowers you to be able to make informed, wise decisions.
What About the Swine Flu Vaccine?
One of the many dangers of the swine flu vaccines that are being hurriedly prepared is that because the pharmaceutical companies are fast-tracking their vaccines to market, they can’t possible be properly tested. And even if there were more time to test them, not all negative effects show up immediately. Some take years to manifest themselves.
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, who also happens to be a medical doctor, reminds us that in the 1976 swine flu panic, one person died from the flu, while 25 died from the vaccine! So many became ill from the vaccine that the program was finally suspended. (3)
Dra. Ana Teresa Dreux suggests homeopathic formulas for prevention and treatment of this year’s local flu strains (she practices in Rio de Janeiro) and swine flu. The above link takes you to the page in Portuguese. This page will be coming soon to you in English. Thank you for your patience.