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Doctors React To Lack Of Liquid Tamiflu

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Aired 10/19/09

Parents of small children who come down with the flu can't get Tamiflu, the main antiviral medication, in liquid form. Some San Diego doctors say that's causing difficulties.

— Parents of small children who come down with the flu can't get Tamiflu, the main antiviral medication, in liquid form. Some San Diego doctors say that's causing difficulties.

Due to a shortage of liquid Tamiflu for children, pharmacies must grind up its adult capsule form, seen above, in order to meet the demand created by swine flu.
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Above: Due to a shortage of liquid Tamiflu for children, pharmacies must grind up its adult capsule form, seen above, in order to meet the demand created by swine flu.

Children under the age of five aren't expected to swallow pills. But the drug company Roche, which makes Tamiflu, has stopped making its pediatric liquid formula. Dr. John Bradley, who is with Rady Children's Hospital, said Roche is making only adult capsules because they're easier to produce in large quantities to meet the demand created by swine flu.

He said pharmacies have to grind up the adult capsules to make a suspended liquid that can be used by children.

"So although there may be a shortage of a pediatric suspension," said Bradley, "a suspension can be made from adult capsules, and there is no shortage of adult capsules.

Some doctors have complained that grinding up adult capsules takes a long time and can make Tamiflu very expensive. Bradley said Roche will begin making their children's formulas again, later in the flu season.

Comments

Avatar for user 'MattthewCScallon'

MattthewCScallon | October 19, 2009 at 2:44 p.m. ― 5 years, 1 month ago

Our son spit up the stuff the moment we put it in his mouth. We stopped giving him the stuff after only two doses.

I wish I could return it; maybe other children wouldn't react as our son did.

( | suggest removal )