Childrearing

Good Luck With Flu Season: There’s A Shortage Of Children’s Tamiflu

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child medicineWelcome to flu season! This year’s winter dose of illness is causing plenty of problems for people all over the country. The Center for Disease Control says that 47 states are reporting “widespread illness.” And even if you’re feeling high and mighty with that flu vaccine, you might want to watch out. It’s only 62% effective.

So it looks like plenty of people are going to suffering through a little a doozy of a bug this year. And even better, your little ones might have to do it without any pharmaceutical assistance at all. The makers of Tamiflu OS say that their children’s liquid medicine is running in short supply due to the increased cases of influenza Type B this year. A spokeswoman for the company says, “We are working to expedite new shipments of Tamiflu OS to distributors as new supplies become available.”

Our household went through our first bout of illness over the holidays. My daughter and I already had our annual flu vaccine, but it wasn’t helpful against the rotovirus that wrecked my Christmas. Now, we’re feeling particularly vulnerable to the latest flu, wreaking havoc on families and schools all over the place.

The Tamiflu shortage will be particularly difficult for the youngest flu suffers to deal with. It is the only drug approved by the FDA to help treat infants with the flu. Some 30 million children have taken the drug since it was first approved for use 13 years ago.

Parents shouldn’t despair too much if the pharmacist tells them that Tamiflu OS is out of stock. Representatives for the drug company say that pharmacists can use the pill form of the drug and make their own liquid medicine for your little ones. So make sure to ask if this is an option if at first you’re turned away from your local Walgreens.

Unfortunately, even with a steady supply of Tamiflu, nothing can cure the influenza completely. The drug can only lessen the effects and shorten the duration of the flu. And from the size and scope of this year’s outbreak, it looks like we’re in a for long couple months of sickiness. Good luck to all the parents out there trying to fight through it!

(Photo: Ilya Andriyanov/Shutterstock)