Bizarre Tamiflu Instructions Confound Parents
Let's say you do everything you can to keep your family healthy, but a child in your home still comes down with the flu.
Your family doc will probably scrawl out a prescription for Tamiflu. Kindly thank him, and then use it to wipe your runny nose before you toss it in the trash.
I'd rather have my kids take their chances with the flu than to swallow this swill - and maybe you'll feel the same way after you read this.
Tamiflu can be dangerous enough when you receive the correct dosage, but faulty packaging instructions leave the door wide open for an overdose that could have devastating consequences.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a warning letter from a group of scientists that shows just how bad the situation is. The instructions explain the dosing in teaspoons, or fractions of teaspoons, even though the dosing syringes included with the drug are often marked in milligrams.
I don't know the last time you attempted to convert fractions of teaspoons into milligrams, but you practically need a degree in algebra to figure it out. In fact, I'm not even sure that would help you - because there is no direct way to reliably make this kind of conversion unless you happen know the density of Tamiflu itself. I'm sure it's safe to say you can't come up with that figure offhand.
A Tamiflu overdose is potentially toxic, and the lazy clowns responsible for this confusion should be locked up, especially if it's determined that even a single child has been sickened as a result.
Instead of putting an end to this nonsense, our old friends at the FDA have only made matters worse by giving docs the OK to use Tamiflu off-label for kids under the age of 1 - but at doses smaller than any of the increments on that confusing syringe.
Even when used correctly, this med has been linked to nasty side effects, including abnormal behavior. In Japan, they've stopped giving Tamiflu to kids after reports of deaths due to "irrational behavior" by children taking it.
Other kids have experienced nausea, vomiting and dehydration - pretty much what the flu gives you for free.
All that risk - and still not a cure. Tamiflu can shorten flu symptoms by between 12 and 36 hours. That's it.
Worth it? You decide - but I'd sign up for the extra day of sniffles.
About the author
William Campbell Douglass I.I., M.D. has been called "the conscience of modern medicine."
You can sign up for his "Daily Dose" at DouglassReport.com.