Available by prescription only, Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate) is a medication that is approved for two purposes:
This medication has not been shown to be effective against other types of viruses, including viruses that cause the stomach flu or common cold. However, researchers are currently studying Tamiflu to see how effective it is at treating bird flu (avian flu).
The medication is not a flu vaccine, nor should it be used in place of a yearly flu vaccination. Tamiflu is sold in the form of a liquid or capsule. Depending on what your healthcare provider recommends, it is taken once or twice a day. This medication can be taken with or without food (you may want to take it with food if you find it upsets your stomach).
(For more details on this drug, click Tamiflu. This full-length article tells you what you need to know about the age groups it is approved for, how it works, and available strengths.)