Shortage of Liquid Tamiflu

Elizabeth Davis
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There is currently a shortage of liquid Tamiflu, the oral suspension form of the flu treatment for children and adults who have trouble swallowing the capsule. The shortage, according to manufacturer Genentech, is due to high demand, and liquid Tamiflu should be back relatively quickly—by the end of the month according to the posting with the FDA.

The capsules are still available in all strengths (30 mg, 45 mg, and 75 mg), and in an emergency, they can be used to make a compounded liquid mixed by your pharmacist  or healthcare provider. The manufacturer lists the instructions for making the liquid on their website, and they are included in the package insert as well. The mixture shouldn’t be used if the capsules can be swallowed or if the FDA-approved oral suspension is available. This means you do have an option though, so ask your pharmacist about compounding using the capsules if you or your child need liquid Tamiflu and you can’t find it.

Relenza is another alternative to the Tamiflu capsules for some people—it’s an inhaler in the same class (neuraminidase inhibitors) as Tamiflu, and it is also used to treat and prevent the flu. It isn’t recommended if you have COPD or another respiratory illness, but otherwise, you might want to discuss it as an option with your doctor.

For more information on the shortage, contact information for Genentech, and updates on when the shortage will be resolved you can check the FDA shortage page here.

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