Concerns over Tamiflu side effects

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The popular prescription medicine to help shorten flu symptoms, Tamiflu, is becoming the not so popular choice for pediatricians at Via Christi in Wichita.

"Prescribing patterns for Tamiflu has definitely shifted over the last couple of years," pediatrician, Dr. Amy Seery said.

Dr. Seery says the drug has its side effects.

"I've started warning parents it can cause a lot of stomach upset and even diarrhea," Dr. Seery said.

She says Tamiflu only shortens flu symptoms by about 12 hours if you start taking it early enough. However, there are many reports of Tamiflu causing frightening side effects. The parents of 16-year-old Charlie Harp of Indiana says the drug caused Harp to commit suicide.

The warning label on Tamiflu states pediatric patients may be at an increased risk of confusion or abnormal behavior.  Dr. Seery says she hasn't seen any of that, but it's on her radar.

"It is being strongly considered by the CDC and it is being reevaluated, but we don't have concrete evidence at this point that it's harmful for children to have exposure to this," Dr. Seery said.

While the number of Tamiflu prescriptions have dropped at some doctors offices. Homeopathic purchases have picked up. Sprouts Farmers Market in east Wichita is having a hard time keeping items on its shelves. Natural supplements like elderberry and Boiron Oscillococcinum are popular for preventing the flu and relieving symptoms.

"The Boiron I can't even get anymore. They said they'll be out of the six dose and the twelve dose until March," Sprouts employee, Jamie Crank said.

Dr. Seery says when it comes to these types of remedies she wants to remind people they're not FDA approved. She says your best bet for fighting the flu is still the vaccine for children and adults.

There have been 48 flu-related deaths this flu season in Kansas.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have a photo to share with us? Email it to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Man killed in southeast Wichita shooting

      Police have arrested a suspect after a man was shot and killed in southeast Wichita early Saturday morning.

    • Search continues for missing Wichita boy; stepmother arrested

      The stepmother of a missing 5-year-old Wichita boy has been booked into the Sedgwick County Jail. 

    • Authorities continue to search for missing Wichita boy

      Police blocked the entrances to Chisholm Creek Park near K-96 and Oliver on Friday and the nearby Great Plains Nature Center was also closed as they continue to search for Lucas Hernandez.

    • Man shot at Wichita Auto Auction on South Broadway

      Police say a man suffered serious injuries in a shooting Friday evening outside the Wichita Auto Auction in south Wichita. 

    • Kansas chase reaches 120 mph before driver crashes on I-70

      Authorities say a 32-year-old man crashed during a chase on Interstate 70 that reached speeds of 120 mph.

    • Salina Police search for shooting suspect

      Salina Police are searching a suspect in connection to a shooting. Officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim in the 100 block of N. Front Street in Salina.

    • Net neutrality rules will officially end in April

      The end of net neutrality is officially set to come this spring. The Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality is scheduled to take effect on April 23, according to a copy of the order was published with the Federal Register on Thursday. 

    • Missing Wichita boy's father believes son is still alive

      Wichita Police have arrested 26-year-old Emily Glass. Glass is the last person to see her five-year-old stepson, Lucas Hernandez, before he went missing.

    • Metallica in Wichita? We'll find out Monday

      Could iconic metal band Metallica be planning a to take the state in Wichita? Tweets from the band and INTRUST Bank Arena are hinting on Twitter that a concert announcement is coming on Monday.

    • 2 killed in western Kansas plane crash

      Two men have died following a plane crash in western Kansas late Thursday night..