Tough Luck Tamiflu

A recent report is exposing that a commonly prescribed drug that is aimed at treating “the flu” has been found to be ineffective. Tamiflu has been used to treat and prevent influenza A and B in over 50 million people since 1999.  However, a recent study by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found the drug ineffective in stopping the flu.  The researchers also went so far to say it shouldn’t be recommended as a flu prevention/treatment option.

This is a drug that has been stockpiled by dozens of countries in the case of a flu epidemic and listed by the WHO as an “essential medicine.”  That’s great news for Roche, the manufactures, who have profited astronomically due to their darling drug.

There is also information that Roche have been under-reporting adverse effects related to this drug.

When I do a simple search for Tamiflu and check out the WebMD monograph for it this is what it says:

“Before taking oseltamivir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.  Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease.  Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).  During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.  This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.”

… Seems pretty straightforward.  Talk to your doctor about taking it.  Do not use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.  Ok… that’s standard stuff.

However, it is well known that anti-virals are very hard on the human body, and come with a variety of possible adverse effects and side effects.  In Tamiflu’s case, it has been linked to the development of neurological disorders, and can possibly affect fertility and lead to cancer, and even death, just to name a few.

So… what is the take home message here?  Another drug has been found to be not as effective as it was believed to be?  Another drug company has been found to be not properly informing the public about the adverse effects related to their product?  Another drug company got a ba-zillion dollars selling their wonder drug just before they got found out?  Maybe…

A story like this reminds me that I must continue to use solutions that are natural and well tolerated by my body to promote health and prevent illness.  I will proactively work on my health using options that resonate naturally with my body.

There are countless flu prevention and treatment strategies that are natural, safe and effective.  In addition, there are countless ways to build our immune system that are natural, safe and effective.  There is also a solid foundation of evidence based medicine supporting the safety and use of these natural solutions.  Naturopathic Doctors understand how to build up a person’s immune system, and can give strategies to ward off and address a cold or flu.  For more information about natural, safe and effective cold and flu treatment and prevention, visit a licensed Naturopathic Doctor.


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