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What are the side effects of anti-flu medications?

Side effects of flu medications may differ with each individual. The most common side effects of flu medications include headache, nausea and vomiting. The most common medication used to treat influenza infections is called oseltamivir (Tamiflu). It is active against influenza A and B. The medication is considered an antiviral drug that inhibits influenza virus neuraminidase enzyme, thereby decreasing the duration of the infection by one-half to three days. It is important to discuss treatment with a doctor before taking any antiviral medication to consider the appropriate use.

While side effects of anti-influenza medications are low, they are not zero. They may include primarily gastrointestinal upset—particularly nausea—and also may include dry mouth and mild blurry vision or dizziness or insomnia. People with respiratory diseases such as asthma may experience difficulty breathing after inhaling zanamivir. Amantadine has been associated with an increase in seizures among patients with a history of seizure disorders.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.