UK: 150 reports of Tamiflu side effects sent to Licensing Agency
Further to a previous story on side effects of Tamiflu, here is an excerpt from an article I saw in the Independent (27/7/09). (The story even reached as far as the New Zealand Herald).
As someone who has Swine Flu (well, according to the Swine Flu helpline, that is and still in Government- imposed quarantine for one last day), it is important to know what we suffering beings are 'letting ourselves in for' if we take this chemically stuff. Will it make us worse? At the very least, it gives us the choice of whether to take it or not. In theory, I am supposed to be having this today sent in by a 'Flu Friend' (within the 48hours) but fortunately it looks like I am making a recovery. It is great that the Independent did a story on this.
"The agency that licenses medicines in Britain has received 150 reports of suspected adverse reactions to the Tamiflu treatment for swine flu.
The figure was released yesterday (26/07) as GPs said some patients were choosing not to take the drug because of concern about the possible side effects.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the 150 reports received within the UK up until 23 July mention 241 separate side effects, most of which were mild and already recognised as linked with the anti-viral drug. They include "mild allergic and gastrointestinal events", such as diarrhoea and vomiting. There were five reports involving nine suspected adverse reactions to Relenza, the rival drug to Tamiflu which is taken by inhalation and is less widely used.
One case of a suspected fatal reaction involving a patient who suffered liver failure after taking Tamiflu, was later attributed to hepatitis.
The MHRA said previous reports from outside the UK had suggested a link between Tamiflu and liver failure but none had shown a causal link.
A second report of a fatal reaction was being investigated, he said.
The commonest side effects of Tamiflu are diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting. Reports from Japan, where Tamiflu has been widely used against seasonal flu, has linked the drug in rare instances with unusual neurological and psychiatric disturbances in children.
Doctors yesterday backed the advice of the Government's Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, that patients with swine flu should be offered anti-viral drugs, but added that it was up to the patients whether they accepted them."
Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/ and www.theindependent.co.uk
If anyone who has taken Swine Flu has side effects they can report it directly to the MHRA, - which happens to be an 'executive agency of the Department of Health'.
You need to fill in the report and mention the medicine you think caused the reaction, some information about the patient, and contact details.
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Narita, Chiba, Japan