Tamiflu not as effective as doctors originally thought

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) You've probably heard a lot about Tamiflu, the medicine prescribed to people who have the flu. Via Christi pediatrician Amy Seery said Tamiflu isn't as effective as doctors originally hoped.

"It really only reduces symptoms maybe 12 hours, and that's only if you start it very, very early in the illness, the first, second day of symptoms," said Seery.

Seery said it might not be worth it for healthy patients who got the flu shot, but the very young, very old or kids sick enough to go to the hospital may benefit.

"The most common side affects are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, so sometimes you can make someone worse by offering them Tamiflu instead of just letting the body naturally process the illness," said Seery.

You may have seen those stories about Tamiflu causing unusual behavior among kids, and Seery said reports of that started in Japan.

"Since the rumor has been started, now people are seeing it, and it's hard to say if it's really there or not," said Seery. "The CDC and the FDA are both aware. This medicine has a very good track record for safety."