The risk of drug resistance due to the abuse of Tamiflu to treat influenza

Tamiflu is a prescription drug, when used must be prescribed by a doctor, indiscriminate use can cause drug resistance.

On July 29, reply VnExpressDr. Vu Quoc Dat, lecturer in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Hanoi Medical University, said that Tamiflu or Oseltamivir have the ability to fight influenza virus, can reduce symptoms, but the effect is not significant in patients. light multiplication.

The drug is indicated for severe and critical cases of influenza or patients at high risk of severe disease such as children under two years old, the elderly over 65 years old, patients with asthma, cardiovascular disease, immunocompromised… Abuse of Tamiflu will lead to drug resistance, reducing the effectiveness of treatment when the patient progresses seriously.

“Resistance can occur spontaneously due to random mutations in the virus, but improper use is an important factor driving this phenomenon, similar to antibiotic resistance in the treatment of bacterial infections.” Mr. Dat said.

In the past, doctors have used antiviral drugs such as Amantadine and Rimantadine to treat the flu. However, since avian influenza in 2003 and H1N1 in 2009, these two drugs have been completely resistant to seasonal and avian influenza viruses. A similar scenario could be seen with drugs being used to treat influenza today, particularly Tamiflu and Zanamivir.

“For people with no underlying medical conditions, healthy, when having mild flu symptoms, it is not necessary to use Tamiflu. The reason for the disease can be cured by treating symptoms without drugs or specific treatment.” the doctor said.

Sharing the same opinion, Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung, former head of the Department of Pediatrics, Bach Mai Hospital, said that Tamiflu is a prescription drug that requires a prescription when dispensing, retailing and using. arbitrarily. The drug is indicated for high-risk groups such as people with chronic heart disease, kidney disease, pneumonia complications…

“Therefore, when prescribed by a doctor, patients should take this medicine. After 48 hours from the time of symptoms, the drug has no effect on the flu virus, so do not buy medicine to treat the disease on your own,” said Dr. doctor said.

Usually, the flu is mild and recovers within 2-7 days. Particularly for children, the elderly, especially people with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, metabolic diseases, anemia or immunocompromised… the flu may progress more severe, more prone to complications and may lead to complications. can lead to death, so it is necessary to closely monitor your health at home. If the symptoms persist for more than a week, the patient should not be subjective but should go to a reputable medical facility for timely treatment to avoid serious complications caused by the flu.

Tamiflu is a prescription drug, when dispensed, retailed and used without a prescription, it is not allowed to be used arbitrarily. Image: Thuy Linh

According to doctors, the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. Especially families with children, should be vaccinated fully, on schedule, and booster shots to actively prevent disease.

When a child has a fever, only symptomatic treatment should be given, such as reducing fever, adding electrolytes, increasing nutrition, cleaning the nose and throat, limiting contact with other children or people with weakened conditions. immunity), located in a well-ventilated, cool temperature…

In addition, when the demand for drugs increases dramatically, it will lead to scarcity, pushing up drug prices, causing mild patients to lose money while many severe cases do not have drugs, losing treatment opportunities. Rushing to buy Tamiflu for reserve easily leads to the situation of “people who need it don’t have it, people have it don’t need it”.

Since the beginning of the year, Hanoi has recorded nearly 3,000 cases of influenza, especially influenza A, which broke out unexpectedly, causing the price of Tamiflu flu drug to be pushed up. Many people accept to buy double and triple prices to store medicine in the hospital room. Two years ago, the situation of Tamiflu being scarce and tripled in price also happened in Hanoi.

On July 28, in the face of the situation that drug prices were “teamed up” due to market demand, the Drug Administration of Vietnam asked localities to ensure the supply and strictly control the price of drugs to treat seasonal flu. Hospitals and enterprises trading in drugs openly and selling them at publicized prices, buy drugs at prices not higher than the announced wholesale and retail prices. The parties must not take advantage of the epidemic to speculate, hoard goods, push prices for profit.

Thuy An


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