Oseltamivir in children under 1 year

The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England has issued an update on the supply and prescribing of oseltamivir liquid for children under 1 year.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has supported of the use of oseltamivir in children.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has supported of the use of oseltamivir in children.

Oseltamivir is available as a licensed Tamiflu Oral Suspension containing 12mg/ml, and an unlicensed Oseltamivir Oral Solution containing 15mg/ml. In addition, an extemporaneous solution can be prepared from Tamiflu capsules by pharmacists, as described in the SPC.

Prescribers should note that Tamiflu is not licensed for use in children under the age of 1 year for seasonal influenza and Oseltamivir 15mg/ml Oral Solution is an unlicensed product. Prescribing of oseltamivir in any form for this age group should be based upon the judgment of the clinician, after considering the potential risk and benefit to the child.

Recommended doses of oseltamivir liquid for children less than 1 year are as follows:

  • 0–1 month: 2mg/kg
  • >1 month to 3 months: 2.5mg/kg
  • >3 months to 12 months: 3mg/kg

When treating flu, the dose should be given twice daily for 5 days. For prophylaxis, the dose should be given once daily for 10 days. Prescribers should note that Oseltamivir Oral Solution is a different strength to Tamiflu Oral Suspension.

To ensure availability of oseltamivir liquid for children under 1 year of age, those over 1 year of age should be prescribed the capsules wherever possible. If necessary, capsules can be opened by the parent or carer and the contents added to a small quantity of a sugary food before administration.

Letter from the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer

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