Tamiflu is a medicine that is to be taken when you are infected by the influenza virus. Now that I have covered what Tamiflu is briefly I will go into the details and then give you a study on the effects of Tamiflu when you are pregnant and lactating because this too is an important part of pregnancy.
How Tamiflu treats the Flu
The main ingredient of the Tamiflu medicine is the Oseltamivir phosphate. This medicine belongs among a group of medications which is called the neuraminidase inhibitors. The medicine acts in this way; it attacks the influenza virus in the body and stops it from spreading inside the body. This is a great cure. You will feel the symptoms reducing within a span of two days. Most other medications for flu go for the symptoms and try to cure the symptoms or mask them. So you can simply say that Tamiflu treats the flu at the source of the infection.
For knowing its effects on pregnancy one should know the dosage of the capsule. Each capsule of the medication contains seventy five milligrams of the active drug. The capsule is a grey and light yellow capsule. For persons afflicted by the flu, they re supposed to take two capsules orally; one capsule in the morning and one in the evening. For people who have been exposed to the influenza virus and they who are taking this medicine as a preventive measure against the flu should take only one seventy five milligrams capsule in a day. In the earlier case the person is prescribed this medicine for a period of five days and in the second case for a period of seven days. So this is the approximate dosage of what a pregnant lady will have if she is faced with the consequences of taking Tamiflu.
Studies conducted on the medication for pregnancy
Now I will be discussing the studies conducted on the medication for pregnancy. The FDA has categorized this drug under the medical category "C". The data collected is insufficient to give a clear picture on the effects of Tamiflu on pregnant women and her developing fetus. As there was no human specimens in the tests initial tests were conducted on rats. Then in a later stage we switched over to rabbits. The pregnant rats were given Tamiflu in different proportions. They were administered dosages of fifty, two hundred and fifty and one thousand five hundred milligrams for per kilogram per day. The rabbits were given fifty, one hundred and fifty and five hundred milligrams for every kilogram per day. Both these animals were given the medication by the oral route. The relative exposure rates were accounted for. In a rat the exposure for these doses was two, thirteen and a hundred times. In the case of the rabbit it was four, eight and a fifty times. Pharmacokinetic study showed that fetal exposure was there in both the cases. In the case of the rats, the maternal toxicity was minimal that too in the one thousand five hundred milligram per kilogram per day group. The rabbit showed slight maternal toxicities. Skeletal abnormalities were observed in the cases where the doses were increased. However the abnormality remained in the background.
The studies came to the conclusion as such, "Tamiflu should be prescribed to a pregnant woman only if the case justifies the potential benefit of the fetus."
A similar study was conducted on rats and rabbits for the effects of Tamiflu in lactating mothers. It was observed that Oseltamivir and Oseltamivir carboxylate are given out in the milk. A similar human study could not be conducted due to the lack of lactating mothers infected by the flu who are willing to contribute towards experimentation.
Anyway the conclusion drawn is also the same as that drawn for the pregnancy test. It was again cited "Tamiflu should be prescribed to a pregnant woman only if the case justifies the potential benefit of the foetus."
By Ian Mason