Flu drug linked to delirium, self-injury in children

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 11, 2006

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In response to reports of adverse events associated with the use of oseltamivir in Japan, the Food and Drug Administration and the drug's manufacturer, Roche Laboratories, are adding warnings to the information accompanying this medication.

The revised label will advise consumers of a possible increased risk of delirium and self-injury among children. Causation has not been proven, but the FDA is calling on physicians to be on the lookout for any unusual behavior among pediatric patients who use this drug.

Sales of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) have increased dramatically over the past few years in response to fears of avian influenza. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Medco Health Solutions, which was presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America meeting in October, found that prescriptions for it had increased more than 300% from the fall of 2004 to the fall of 2005.

The CDC and the American Medical Association recommend against stockpiling the drug because this action can lead to misuse that in turn can lead to the virus developing resistance.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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