I suggested, in a recent post, that many, if not most, people calling the government’s swine-flu hotline and clogging the website were there to blag Tamiflu in case they got sick (and doubtless, in some cases, to sell it at a huge profit). This is theft.
Seems I was right, as some 150,000 people have obtained Tamiflu via those routes, yet there is not the slightest indication that the pestilence has escalated to that degree. Indeed, it appears to be levelling off, according to some reports.
It is childishly easy to get Tamiflu online or on the phone – all you have to do is lie about the symptoms, and any fool can find out what they are online – this entire, belated, response is a colossal fuck-up.
There are also people bitching and whining about their poor little kiddiewinks having nightmares as a result of Tamiflu. Oh, boo-hoo! Look, like any drug, Tamiflu has side effects, just stop whinging and deal with it. This, by the way, is the list of side-effects listed in the NICE guide TA158 (nightmares probably come under psychiatric events):-
3.2 Adverse effects associated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu), include gastrointestinal symptoms, bronchitis and cough, dizziness and fatigue and neurological symptoms such as headache, insomnia and vertigo. Skin rashes and allergic reactions and, rarely, hepatobiliary system disorders have been reported. Convulsions and psychiatric events, mainly in children and adolescents, have also been reported but a causal link has not been established. For full details of adverse effects and contraindications, see the summary of product characteristics (SPC).
If you want to see the SPC for yourself, go here.
By the way, there is another NICE report, pre-dating TA158, saying that in an epidemic, Tamiflu needs to be taken for six weeks. This is also the advice from the makers, Hoffman-La Roche. The 7-day courses being doled out during the pandemic, then, look rather inadequate.