Can oseltamivir (Tamiflu) prevent complications of the flu?
The flu can lead to serious complications like pneumonia in certain groups of people. Medications like oseltamivir (trade name: Tamiflu) mainly aim to prevent things from turning serious. But research has only shown that taking oseltamivir might make general flu symptoms go away a bit sooner.
Influenza or ‘the flu’ is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (a disease of the airways). It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, chills, muscle ache, severe tiredness and fatigue, headache, sore throat, a cough and a blocked nose.
Most people who come down with the flu get better within a week. But they may have a cough and feel unwell for about one to two weeks after that.
Children, pregnant women, older people and people with chronic medical conditions are at greater risk of getting very ill if they have the flu. Complications such as pneumonia are then more common, and they can also become fatal. But people who are otherwise healthy are very unlikely to die of the flu.