Tamiflu should not be used to treat flu without doctors’ consultation

The Department of Medical Service Administration warned people not to use Tamiflu to treat flu without a doctor’s consultation.
The Department of Medical Service Administration under the Ministry of Health has just sent urgent instructions on strengthening the supervision of prescription and use of antiviral drugs in the treatment of influenza to departments of health in provinces and cities, medical institutes, and hospitals under the Ministry of Health. The Department said that the medicine should not be taken without consulting doctors.
According to the Medical Service Administration, this is a drug indicated in cases of influenza infection for suspected cases or confirmed cases with complications or risk factors. The product should not be used without doctors' prescription because it will increase the risk of drug resistance leading to unwanted effects and economic losses.
Therefore, the Department proposed responsible agencies to increase communication to raise people’s awareness of the harmful effects of self-medication of influenza. Infirmaries should strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines of influenza treatment with a focus on prescriptions properly especially with Tamiflu drug.
At many drug stores, a box of Tamiflu drug was priced about VND 450,000 in June or earlier but by the end of July, it had increased by VND550,000- VND600,000 a box. Despite the higher price, people did not easily buy the medicine due to their growing need. Worse, many people have bought the medicine for hoarding.
Medical experts recommended that people do not arbitrarily buy Tamiflu to treat flu because Tamiflu is currently mainly used for patients with severe flu or at risk of severe disease progression. Improper use of Tamiflu can lead to drug resistance.

By Nguyen Quoc – Translated by Anh Quan

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