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Understanding How Tamiflu Works and Pediatric/Off-Label Indications

How Does Tamiflu Work?

Tamiflu works by attacking the flu virus inside the body, thus preventing it from spreading. This is different from other flu medicines, which just treat flu symptoms.
Tamiflu is part of a class of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors. Neuraminidase (an enzyme found on the flu virus) allows the virus to spread. By blocking this enzyme, Tamiflu prevents the virus from spreading.

Are There Tamiflu Uses for Children?

Tamiflu has been approved for the prevention of the flu in children one year of age and older. It is approved for the treatment of flu in children as young as two weeks of age. 

Are There Off-Label Tamiflu Uses?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend a drug for something other than the conditions it is licensed to treat. This is called an "off-label" use. Using Tamiflu for flu prevention in babies under one year of age is an off-label use. Also, Tamiflu is actively being studied to learn how effective it is at treating bird flu (avian flu).
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