US says Tamiflu for the sick, not a preventive

September 8, 2009 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- Federal health officials put out new guidelines Tuesday that say the flu medicines Tamiflu and Relenza should only be used to treat people who are sick with the flu and at high risk for complications.

The new advice tries to close a door that government doctors had left open in May. Back then, they didn't rule out sometimes using the drugs to stop swine flu's spread and prevent illness even in children who had no symptoms.

Now that swine is so common, health officials say the medicines should be reserved for people at higher risk of complications.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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