Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

What you need to know about swine flu (Update)

(AP) -- A never-before-seen strain of swine flu has turned killer in Mexico and is causing milder illness in the United States and elsewhere. While authorities say it's not time to panic, they are taking steps to stem the ...

Medications

Tamiflu 'may be tied to abnormal behavior'

Influenza patients between ages 10 and 17 who took Tamiflu were 54 percent more likely to exhibit serious abnormal behavior than those who did not take the antiflu drug, according to a final report, released Saturday, from ...

Medications

WHO: Save Tamiflu for the young, old and pregnant

(AP) -- The World Health Organization said Friday that Tamiflu should only be given to particularly vulnerable people - a warning to countries like Britain where the swine flu drug is being handed out freely.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Tips for avoiding, treating swine flu

Swine flu has surfaced in the United States, and people are bound to have many questions as the illness arrives a step closer to home. Dr. Mark Dworkin, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

As swine flu spreads, who should get Tamiflu?

(AP) -- The swine flu epidemic may seem mild now, with relatively few deaths even as the virus infects thousands in at least 33 countries. But experts worry it could mutate into something more dangerous - making the question ...

Medications

Flu drug advised for pregnant women with swine flu

(AP) -- Pregnant women should take prescription flu medicines if they are diagnosed with the new swine flu, health officials said Tuesday. So far, the swine flu has not proven to be much more dangerous than seasonal influenza, ...

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Oseltamivir

Oseltamivir (INN) (pronounced /ɒsəlˈtæmɨvɪr/) is a drug that blocks the influenza virus from spreading between cells in the body. Thus it is an antiviral drug that is used in the treatment and prophylaxis of both Influenzavirus A and Influenzavirus B infection. Like zanamivir, oseltamivir is a neuraminidase inhibitor. It acts as a transition-state analogue inhibitor of influenza neuraminidase, preventing progeny virions from detaching from infected cells.

Oseltamivir was the first orally active neuraminidase inhibitor commercially developed. It is a prodrug, which is hydrolysed hepatically to the active metabolite, the free carboxylate of oseltamivir (GS4071). It was developed by US-based Gilead Sciences and is currently marketed by Hoffmann–La Roche (Roche) under the trade name Tamiflu. In Japan, it is marketed by Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., which is more than 50% owned by Roche. Oseltamivir is generally available by prescription only.

Roche estimates that 50 million people have been treated with oseltamivir. The majority of these have been in Japan, where an estimated 35 million have been treated. Since June 2009, Roche has been forced to allow other companies to develop competing drugs to Tamiflu, after much speculation about Roche's so-called 'monopoly' of Tamiflu in the UK.[citation needed]

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