Compare and buy antiviral medications for influenza.
Four influenza drugs currently available for the treatment or prophylaxis of influenza are the
two adamantanes amantadine and rimantadine, (brands include Amentrel and Symmetrel), and
two neuraminidase inhibitors: zanamivir [Relenza Inhalation] and oseltamivir [Tamiflu].
Amantadine treats various strains of the Influenza Virus Type A but certain sub strains such as
Avian Flu (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1) have developed a resistance to it, therefore Tamiflu
(oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir) are now being used. Oseltamivir and Zanamivir are used
for the treatment and prevention of infections due to these types of influenza.
Read More about Tamiflu and Relenza, dosages and side effects here »
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Compare Tamiflu and Relenza
Relenza Inhalation Powder (Zanamivir) is a neuraminidase inhibitor which can successfully
treat both Influenza Types A and B in adults and children over the age of seven. Sub strains
of influenza Type A, such as H5N1 and H1N1 (Avian Flu and Swine Flu being two of them) have
become resistant to Amantadine and Relenza is an effective treatment for these strains of
influenza. Relenza must be taken soon after the first symptoms appear (6-12 hours) but is
only available via inhalation by using the supplied inhalation device (Rotadisk or Diskhaler).
Tamiflu and Antiflu (Oseltamivir) are also neuraminidase inhibitors but are available as
capsules that can be swallowed and are often preferred, especially by the elderly and asthma
sufferers who might suffer bronchospasms when using Relenza inhalation powder.
Tamiflu/Antiflu (Oseltamivir) is recommended for the treatment and prevention of influenza
types A and B virus infections in adults and children over ONE year of age.
The normal adult dosage is 75mg twice a day for 5 days (to be effective, treatment must start
within 2 days of the first symptoms and with lower doses for children and patients with renal
impairment. Oseltamivir can also be given as a preventive medicine during a community
outbreak or following contact with an infected person, when the prophylactic (preventative)
dosage is 75mg once per day for adults and children aged 13 and older for up to 6 weeks.
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How to Take Tamiflu
Take Tamiflu orally with food or milk to minimize stomach upset.
If you already have the flu, take Tamiflu usually twice a day for 5 days, or as directed.
To prevent the flu, take Tamiflu usually once a day for at least 7 days, or as directed.
Follow your doctor's instructions for how long to take it. Tamiflu works best when the amount in
the body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals and at
at the same time(s) each day. Stopping Tamiflu too early may allow the virus to continue
growing, this may result in a relapse of the infection or a failure in protection.
Relenza and Tamiflu Side Effects
The most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, which may occur as the body adjusts.
They usually go away after 1-2 days, dizziness may also occur. If an allergic reaction is
experienced (difficulty breathing or closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face;
or rash) stop taking the medication and seek urgent medical attention.
A small number of people, especially children, have shown behavioural changes after taking
oseltamivir or zanamivir. These include: Attempts at self harm, confusion or delirium.
Anyone who takes Tamiflu or Relenza, especially children, should be watched closely.
Amantadine Side Effects
Amantadine may cause stomach upset, nausea, drowsiness, constipation, headache, dizziness,
anxiety, or purplish-red blotchy spots on the skin during the first few days as the body adjusts.
If symptoms persist or become severe, inform your doctor as soon as possible, also inform your
doctor if you develop any of the following: slurred speech, shortness of breath, swelling of the
ankles/feet, unusual fatigue, vision disturbances, difficulty urinating, skin rash, mental or mood
changes, muscle stiffness, uncontrolled muscle movements, unusual sweating, fast heartbeat
or unexplained fever. Also note that certain drugs may adversely interact with Amantadine and
drugs in this family of medicines, especially drugs used for Parkinson's disease and stimulants
(such as decongestants found in cough-and-cold products).