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Valued Contributor
Posts: 606
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

DH was diagnosed with influenza and given Tamiflu. I asked Dr. how infectious the flu was. I said considering we live in the same house, same bed etc. Two days later I was back very sick and getting Tamiflu. The leaflet in with the capsules said that family members could take Tamiflu to reduce the chance of getting the flu or reduce the symptoms. I am thinking that it should be routine for doctors to give prescriptions for Tamiflu to family members to reduce the spread of the flu. The CDC make such a fuss about the spread of influenza - why don't they help reduce it by recommending Tamiflu to family members in the same household? DH and I are elderly and have had a hard time dealing with us both so sick at the same time.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 3,697
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

Here's an article that gives information on why they don't prescribe Tamiflu as a preventative

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/01/should-i-take-tamiflu-to-treat-the-flu/index.htm

It's always a victory for me when I remember why I entered a room.
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,102
Registered: ‎09-27-2011

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

The doctors I have gone to won't write a prescription unless you have symptoms that they have confirmed is what you have self-diagnosed. For example, at 64 I can pretty well guarantee I know if I have a bladder infection or a yeast infection, but the doctor still insists I come in. I'd like to think they are just being thorough, but let's face it, I can't help but think they want to be paid for that ofice visit. They also don't like to write prescriptions for antibiotics unless they see you, which I can understand, even though it's annoying. Again, you can tell easily enough if you have a upper respiratory infection, but they still want you to come in since they can't see you and hear your chest over the telephone. I agree it would be helpful if we could have medicine on hand to save time and aggravation, but I can also understand that doctors have to make sure they are treating you properly.
Super Contributor
Posts: 291
Registered: ‎03-30-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

Another important reason is that they have found that Tamiflu isn't as effective as they once thought. What Tamiflu does is shorten the time you're "sick" but it hasn't done so. Not by enough of a percentage to outweigh the side effects. Also, most people can't know for sure when they have flu symptoms, so the 2 day window is difficult, not to mention trying to get into a dr on short notice.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,774
Registered: ‎07-09-2011

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

This is a quote from the above mentioned article speaks to the crux of the matter for me. Due to the over-use of antibiotics we already have super-bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. Another reason to get a flu vaccination.

"What's more, taking antivirals if you don't need them may breed drug-resistant strains of the virus, just as the overuse of antibiotics leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And it can reduce the supply of drugs for people who need them the most. In fact, the FDA has already reported shortages of the oral suspension form of Tamiflu, in some areas."

"Animals are not my whole world, but they have made my world whole" ~ Roger Caras
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,627
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

My husband came down with a very bad case of the "swine flu" about 5 years ago....before the vaccine was available. My doctor put him on Tamiflu and put me on 1/2 dose of Tamiflu. I didn't catch it.

I have ended up with bacterial pneumonia in the past, from the flu, and other complications. And, I have allergies to quite a few antibiotics. He felt it was in my best interest to do everything possible to avoid catching it.

But I can understand why they don't want to over-prescribe it.

"I've been here since October 2006. Wow!"
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

On 12/6/2014 only shops online said:

My husband came down with a very bad case of the "swine flu" about 5 years ago....before the vaccine was available. My doctor put him on Tamiflu and put me on 1/2 dose of Tamiflu. I didn't catch it.

I have ended up with bacterial pneumonia in the past, from the flu, and other complications. And, I have allergies to quite a few antibiotics. He felt it was in my best interest to do everything possible to avoid catching it.

But I can understand why they don't want to over-prescribe it.

I was prescribed Tamiflu for swine flu when I was in England. It really reduced the symptoms of flu. Each case needs to be considered individually.

It's always a victory for me when I remember why I entered a room.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 536
Registered: ‎06-04-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

Elderberry syrup or homebrew elderberry tincture. Elderberry syrup should be available at many pharmacies. I actually made some homebrew from dried elderberries, but it is not suitable for children because it is alcohol based, after all. Tamiflu was over the counter for many years until somebody figured out that they could make a ton of money by pulling it making it prescription only.

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Posts: 3,874
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

Tamiflu may reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms, but recent articles have stated that it often isn't very effective. And the concerns about developing strains of flu that don't respond to it if it is overused are probably valid.

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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Tamflu - why don't doctors give it to family members - it could save so much misery.

On 12/6/2014 OkeyDokey said:

Elderberry syrup or homebrew elderberry tincture. Elderberry syrup should be available at many pharmacies. I actually made some homebrew from dried elderberries, but it is not suitable for children because it is alcohol based, after all. Tamiflu was over the counter for many years until somebody figured out that they could make a ton of money by pulling it making it prescription only.

Isn't elderberry wine what Cary Grant's aunts used to kill their "gentleman" is Arsenic and Old Lace?

It's always a victory for me when I remember why I entered a room.