With flu season in full swing, parents everywhere are wondering how to protect their little ones.
One popular remedy, however, has parents understandably frightened.
Recently the 2-year-old son of Andrea and Josh Wallen came down with the flu. Little Steven was so afflicted that he even had seizures.
The Wallens took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with the flu. Then, doctors began treating him with a common flu medicine.
That medicine, Tamiflu, had an immediate effect. Sadly, the effect was not for the better.
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Immediately after starting Tamiflu, Steven began twitching. He also began hallucinating and slamming his head in pain.
He even slapped his mother in the face when she walked in the room. For a toddler with otherwise normal, good behavior, that is exceedingly strange.
The Wallens report these frightening behaviors only stopped after they discontinued the Tamiflu. Now the family is warning others regarding the frightening side effects of the popular flu medicine.
Little Steven isn’t the only child to experience such side effects. Recently, a 6-year-old girl tried jumping out of a nearby window after taking Tamiflu.
CBS 11 reports that “Lindsay Ellis of Indianapolis was a healthy 11-year-old before she had the flu last year.
Then she began hallucinating bugs on her body and the devil’s voice in her ear.” Doctors believe these hallucinations were also caused by Tamiflu.
Despite these side effects, health experts say Tamiflu’s benefits are greater than potential risks.
Dr. Norina Ocampo, a pediatrician with Tenet Florida Physician Services, told Healthline that “most children don’t have side effects from Tamiflu.”
Dr. John Shufeldt, an emergency room physician in Arizona, told Healthline:“Tamiflu is really important. It lessens duration of the flu by about a day and lessens severity 10 percent to 30 percent.”
A shorter flu duration is especially important. As Healthline explains:
“For anyone, being sick longer can lead to a compromised immune system that may spawn lethal bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.”
Regardless of its potential benefits, many parents are refusing to give their children Tamiflu.
Until this particularly bad flu season is over, continue to follow basic, preventative actions such as washing your hands, refraining from touching your face, and disinfecting surfaces — all good ways to prevent the spread of germs.