Info from NJ Poison Control Center Regarding Swine Flu


nj-poison-helpAs the outbreak of Swine Flu approaches our area, it is important to understand the role of medication in its prevention and treatment.

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control, the current strain of swine flu is resistant to the older medicines, amantidine and rimantidine but is currently sensitive to both oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). The latter two must be started within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms to be most effective. Thus, at the first sign of possible infection, citizens would be wise to see their physician and consider starting on one of these two medications.

Oseltamivir is available as a pill while zanamivir must be administered by inhalation using a special device packaged with the drug. Some individuals might not be able to use the inhaler, thus they may be limited to only the oseltamivir.

Although there is a preparation intended for use in children, there have been reports of potentially serious side effects from childhood use of this medication, so caution must be taken. The use of over the counter preparations to treat the symptoms and signs of influenza must also be used with caution. Side effects from these preparations can occur and may endanger the recipient.

As usual, information specialists at The New Jersey Poison Information and Education System stand ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have about the treatment of this disease. The only ‘stupid question is that which is not asked.” Help is just a telephone call away. Simply call 1-800-222-1222 to speak to one of our information specialists.

{Elisha Newscenter}