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Ciptapangan Visitor
Japan Warns on Tamiflu for Teens
posted by admin on 22/03/07

TOKYO -- Japanese doctors were warned yesterday against prescribing Tamiflu -- one of the few medicines believed effective against bird flu -- to teenagers after several young patients reportedly exhibited dangerous behavior. But the maker of the drug said it was safe.

The Health Ministry issued emergency instructions on Tuesday to a Japanese Tamiflu distributor, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., to warn doctors not to give the drug to teenagers, a Chugai official said.

Concerns over the effects of Tamiflu have spiked in Japan after a boy and a girl, both 14 years old, fell to their deaths from their condominiums while taking the drug in separate incidents in February.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it received more than 100 reports of delirium, hallucinations and other unusual psychiatric behavior, mostly in Japanese children treated with Tamiflu, between Aug. 29, 2005, and July 6.

The drug, manufactured by Swiss company Roche Holding AG, carries warnings in Japan and the U.S. that such abnormal behavior could occur.

However, Roche said new data from Japan and the U.S. showed no causal link between Tamiflu and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Copyright © 2007 Associated Press

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