Whereas the flu is self-limiting, the FDA's capacity for bad decisions is not...
The recent decision by the FDA to approve the use of the antiviral drug Tamiflu for treating influenza in infants as young as two weeks old, belies an underlying trajectory within our regulatory agencies towards sheer insanity.
Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir, has already drawn international concern over its link with suicide deaths in children given the drug after its approval in 1999. In fact, in 2004, the Japanese pharmaceutical company Chugai added "abnormal behavior" as a possible side effect inside Tamiflu's package. The FDA also acknowledged in its April, 2012 "Pediatric Postmarket Adverse Event Review" of Tamiflu that "abnormal behavior, delirium, including symptoms such as hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, altered level of consciousness, confusion, nightmares, delusions" are possible side effects.[i]
Recent animal research on Tamiflu has found that the infant brain absorbs the drug more readily than the adult brain,[ii][iii]lending a possible explanation for why neuropsychiatric side effects have been observed disproportionately in younger patients.
The very mechanism of Tamiflu's anti-influenza action may hold the key to its well-known neurotoxicity. Known as a neuromindase inhibitor, the drug inhibits the key enzyme within the flu virus that enables it to enter through the membrane of the host cell. So fundamental is this enzyme that viruses are named after this antigenic characteristic. For instance, the "N" in H1N1 flu virus is named for type 1 viral neuromindase.
An exciting new study reveals that Hibiscus tea may be far more powerful than pharmaceuticals in combating deadly flu viruses.
The search for safe and effective treatments for drug- and vaccine-resistant forms of influenza, including H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs), has lead a group of researchers to investigate whether commonly used herbal tea extracts might provide a viable natural alternative.
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