Three antiviral drugs, amantadine (Symmetrel), rimantadine (Flumadine), and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are available in the US for influenza. These medications are only partially effective and not effective at all unless they are started within the first two days of symptoms. All are prescription drugs and have serious potential risks. Besides the more common side effects of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and insomnia, rare but serious adverse reactions have been reported including depression, suicide, and a potentially fatal reaction called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, which involves a high fever muscle rigidity and mental status changes. I cannot recommend the general use of these medications given their poor benefit-to-risk ratio.At this point Tamiflu is a household name. Everyone knows someone who ran kicking and screaming to their doctor for a fix. Now, if you didn’t, be glad you didn’t. This CNN video report claims children who took Tamiflu are exhibiting abnormal behavior. Take a look:
Clearly, this is a worrisome, but get a load of this. Dr. Fuhrman points out that Tamiflu has a major flaw that is often overlooked. He explains:
Another drawback to Tamiflu and the others is that it takes time to diagnose the flu and by the time one gets to a doctor for an accurate diagnosis, you have passed the window in which the medications are effective. Hundreds of thousands of doses of Tamiflu will be prescribed and in more than 90 percent of instances, it will be used after the period when it has any potential to help. People will be increasing their risk of medication-caused side effect, without any potential benefit.Even in my pre-Eat to Live days I never got flu shots. And now that I eat a disease-preventing high-nutrient diet, my body can kick the flu’s butt. Exhibit A: Flu, Shot!