Tamiflu is an antiviral agent that fights influenza A and B. But, lately, it's a battle just to find the children's version.
"Right now, there's a shortage with the children's dose, which is the liquid dose. We have multiple wholesalers we try to go to to keep each store stocked, but we're having difficulty with that," said Tony Chiffy, owner of Parkway Drugs, in Utica. Chiffy says 15 prescriptions went out the door of the French Road Parkway Drugs by 1:00 Wednesday afternoon.
Tracking down the antiviral sometimes means several phone calls for staffers at Slocum Dickson Medial Group's pediatrics department. Physicians here say there's more than one benefit to the antiviral agent.
"It can shorten the duration of symptoms for people that have the flu, so it doesn't get rid of the flu, it just makes your flu shorter and milder, or it has the potential to, and it might decrease your risk of getting complications from the flu," says Dr. Taryn Rio, of Slocum Dickson.
Chiffy says Tamiflu is ideally prescribed quickly-within a day or two of a flu diagnosis. He says it may also be prescribed to uninfected people who have contact with infected people.
"As a preventative? Very successful. Prevent it from going from family to family, it's very succesful.