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No Tamiflu for children, doctors told

No Tamiflu for children, doctors told

By Lewis Smith

Doctors should stop giving Tamiflu to children as a routine treatment for swine flu, researchers concluded after finding the drug can cause more harm than good.

Analysis revealed antiviral drugs speeds up children’s recovery from flu but the side effect of vomiting can cause dehydration and other complications.

Researchers who carried out the study called on the Department of Health to halt the practice of Tamiflu and other antivirals being handed out as a matter of course to children with flu.

It should, they said, only be given to children aged 12 and under in exceptional circumstances such as when flu represents a serious risk to the well-being because of an underlying condition.

Equally, they said, there is a serious risk that if antivirals are overused the swine flu virus will develop resistance to Tamiflu by the time a second wave of swine flu is expected to sweep the country in the autumn.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, come shortly after another study revealed more than half the children who took Tamiflu suffered side effects such as nausea and nightmares.

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