'Last night my daughter tried to kill me': Mum warns about the dangers of Tamiflu
After taking a common medication, a young girl experienced auditory hallucinations and threatened to kill her own mother...
Though it is an effective flu medication for those above the age of two weeks, Tamiflu (or oseltamivir phosphate) has been known to have its risks. One mum had to learn about Tamiflu side effects in a frightening way.
"Last night my daughter tried to kill me. No, this is not a joke and yes, you do need to read the full story," mum Melissa Rodriguez begins her Facebook post, which has been shared over 255,000 times.
She came home and found out that her daughter Emma had a fever of 103.1°F (39.5°C) and she was complaining of a runny nose.
So she gave her Tylenol (which contains Acetaminophen) and sent her other kids to her mum's house before heading to the paediatrician, who prescribed Ibuprofen and Tamiflu to address flu symptoms.
Since her daughter's temperature wasn't going down, Rodriguez decided to immediately give her the medication while still in the car.
Her daughter showed no side effects at first, but then something terrifying happened shortly after she fell asleep later that day.
"Within thirty minutes of her falling asleep, she woke up. This is where my nightmare begins. My daughter woke up but she wasn't herself. She woke up breaking things and came into my bedroom saying she was going to kill me," writes the mum, adding how she had to "wrestle with her daughter" for about ten minutes.
Tamiflu side effects: Young girl suffers auditory hallucinations
"After trying to reason with her and wake her up from what I assumed was her sleep walking, her mood snapped and she began to cry," continues Rodriguez. She recounts how her daughter was in tears, apologising to her, saying "I love you but I can't wake up. The noise in head won't let me."
Since her daughter's symptoms weren't improving, they headed to the nearest emergency room. Sadly, the doctor wasn't very helpful. So they headed to a different hospital where the paediatrician concluded that it was severe Tamiflu side effects, further aggravated by an allergy to the medication.
"You're not crazy and neither is she," she recalls the doctor telling her. "Tamiflu just doesn't always work well with children and not all doctors are aware."
After being monitored overnight, Emma's fever subsided and she returned to "her lucid self" with no recollection of what happened.
They went home and her mum decided to fight the flu "the old fashioned way," by getting lots of rest, taking Tylenol, and having lots of chicken noodle soup.
By sharing her scary experience, Rodriguez hopes to warn other parents to be extra careful when giving their kids medication.
"I love my daughter more than I love myself, and as a mother, I feel the need to urge other parents to take caution when administering Tamiflu to their child." She warns in closing, "Watch your children, don't give them their first dose overnight, take the day off from work, go above and beyond."
Side effects of Tamiflu: Signs parents should watch out for
Tamiflu is effective in blocking the flu virus within just 48 hours.
"Tamiflu is really important," ER Physician Dr. John Shufeldt told Healthline. “It lessens duration of the flu by about a day and lessens severity 10 percent to 30 percent.”
According to the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore (PSS) the "benefits of [Tamiflu] outweigh the risks."
Though rare, Tamiflu side effects can happen, as seen in the case of Emma.
Here are some side effects parents should watch out for:
- Erratic behaviour
- Breathing problems
Tamiflu has been known to be an effective antiviral drug that lowers the risk of pneumonia and ear infection in children, says the CDC.
Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine and infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine tells Healthline that no medication is totally risk free.
"So every time we do anything therapeutically," Dr. Schaffner said, "there’s a risk-benefit analysis."
Be sure to consult your child's paediatrician before starting them on any type of medication.
Have you ever given your child Tamiflu? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.