You Can Make Your Own Liquid Tamiflu At Home

G.’s young son was recently ill with H1N1, but no pharmacy in the city where he lives had liquid Tamiflu in stock. (Even the federal government released its stockpile not long ago.) He writes that nearly every pharmacy he called turned him down. Then he learned that the liquid can be made from Tamiflu capsules by pharmacists, or even by parents at home. Why didn’t the pharmacy staff, or his doctor, tell him this?

He writes:

When his H1N1-induced fever spiked at 104, I brought my 16-month-old son to the pediatrician, who promptly prescribed Tamiflu.

When I arrived at CVS, I was told that they were out of stock of the liquid form and none would be available until late the next day. Further, I was told that none of the other CVS branches had any liquid Tamiflu. I called around and, sure enough, no pharmacy in the area had any liquid Tamiflu.

Knowing that Tamiflu needs to be taken promptly, I panicked and called my sister-in-law, who is a doctor in another city. She told me that although the liquid can be out of stock, pharmacists can make liquid Tamiflu from Tamiflu capsules.

I returned to CVS, asked the pharmacist if this could be done. I was told that it would take a half-hour. I am furious that he did not volunteer this information the first time around.

Parents, do not take “no” for an answer. Especially for at-risk children like mine, insist that the liquid be made promptly.

If you’re not able to find a pharmacy equipped to make the liquid for you, the CDC has posted instructions for parents on how to make their own liquid Tamiflu out of the adult capsules.

What liquids can I use?

A thick and sweet liquid, such as regular or sugar-free chocolate syrup, that masks the flavor of the medicine can be mixed with the contents of the Tamiflu® capsule. Sugar-free sweet liquids are available. The child should consume the liquid mixture entirely.

If my child can’t swallow capsules, how do I open Tamiflu capsules and mix the medicine?

Pour a small amount (about a spoonful) of sweet, thick liquid into a cup or bowl. Carefully open the Tamiflu® capsule prescribed by your doctor and pour out all of the powder inside the capsule and mix it into the liquid. The exact amount of liquid used doesn’t matter, as long as the powder inside the capsule is mixed in well. (All of the medicine may not dissolve. Just be sure it is all well mixed.) Use only the prescribed dose.

What will I need to do this?

You will need

* The prescribed Tamiflu® capsule
* A small bowl or cup and a spoon
* 1-2 Teaspoons of sweetened liquid

How do I mix the ingredients?

* Pour a small amount (about a spoonful) of a sweet thick liquid into a cup or bowl.
* Holding one capsule over a small bowl, carefully pull the capsule open and pour the complete contents of the capsule into the bowl.
* Stir the mixture and give the entire dose to the child with a spoon.

Should my child take all of the mixture?

Yes, make sure your child takes all of the medicine mixture.

Opening and Mixing Tamiflu® Capsules with Liquids if Child Cannot Swallow Capsules [CDC]
D.I.Y. Tamiflu for Kids: Pharmacists Cope With Shortage [ABC News]

(Photo: timsnell)