By: Brooke Rogers | CBS 11

ALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas family says their daughter’s side effects from the popular drug Tamiflu were beyond what they ever could have imagined – and left them saying never again.

Like so many others, the 6-year-old’s flu diagnosis that came with a choice: whether or not to take Tamiflu to speed up the course of the dreaded illness.

tami e1515804144337 Girl, 6, Suffers Frightening Side Effects After Taking Tamiflu

Tamiflu (CBS11)

The family from Allen, who wants to remain anonymous, says the side effects were stunning: hallucinations, running away from school and an attempt, they believe, to hurt herself.

“The second story window was open, which is in her bedroom, and she used her desk to climb up onto it, and she was about to jump out the window when my wife came up and grabbed her,” her father said.

They took her to the hospital, where a doctor informed them that nervous system problems – including psychosis – can be a very rare side effect of Tamiflu. Emergency room physician Dr. Glenn Hardesty, with Texas Health Prosper, says it’s very rare but can happen.

“Less than 1 percent is what’s listed in the data sheet,” he said. “I’ve been in practice 20 years, and I haven’t seen that particular complication.”

It is written in the fine print, and Dr. Hardesty says there’s always a chance of a side effect with any drug. The little girl’s parents say they wish they had known.

“I don’t think the 16 hours of symptom relief from the flu is worth the possible side effects that we went through,” her father said.

His message for parents: do your homework before taking Tamiflu – or any drug.

“Know that side effects are there for a reason. They’re written down for a reason. I guess they can happen, and we got the short end of the stick,” her father said.

Comments (89)
  1. This child was diagnosed with having the flu, she was given a prescription for Tamiful. She took it and had a reaction. I feel so sorry for her and the family. Please look at this statement from above: “running away from school”. Why was this child with the flu at school? She should of been at home with an adult. They might of seen the side effects sooner!

  2. Thomas Lewis says:

    Quercetin dihydrate works for me to protect against colds and flu, and a second supplement thins mucus.

    Quercetin is a flavonoid from fruits and vegetables like apples and onions. I don’t think quercetin would have any side effects.
    What I do is mornings take 1/2 level teaspoon (about 500 mg) of quercetin dihydrate, which is a yellow, fluffy powder available from Bulk Supplements. I order it in a 250 gram bag which lasts about 500 days. Quercetin somehow guards and galvanizes my lungs and sinuses and I have not caught my usual winter chest cold for 3 years now. I twice tried to drop the daily quercetin dose to 250 mg or lower but had the sniffles within a month, so it takes at least 400 mg quercetin per day for me to continue to avoid chest colds and flu.

    That still leaves lung and sinus mucus to be thinned, which I do by mornings taking 1/2 level measuring teaspoon of Walmart’s 14 herb Mrs. Dash Table Blend (MDTB) seasoning which should start to liquefy lung mucus in about 2 weeks so it can be coughed up more easily. I buy it in the 6.75 oz size which lasts over 3 months. I actually dip it out now with/as a level 7 inch iced tea spoon because the bottle is a little deep. Increasing the daily dose doesn’t seem to increase the results.
    I had laryngitis in the Fall of 2016 where I couldn’t clear my throat, even though I was taking 500 mg of the aforementioned quercetin. I restarted taking the Mrs. Dash Table Blend and my throat cleared the same day, so there is something in this 14 herb seasoning that thins mucus, maybe the lemon oil.

    I eat cheese and dairy but increasing dairy intake seems to increase mucus formation. I take both the quercetin powder and MDTB together by washing them down with water.

    Vitamin C doesn’t keep me from taking colds and flu. The same with vitamin D-3.
    I took lots of vit C for years during the 80’s and 90’s. I would take it up to bowel tolerance.
    I took vit D-3 at 5000 units/day for 5 years starting in 2011 because I read that D-3 protects the lungs from getting colds and flu but I still got a chest cold each winter.
    Quercetin is what prevents colds and flu for me and I would try quercetin for any lung or sinus problem already in progress.

    1. John McElroy says:

      Well, your experience makes this the regime for me. I regularly seeks remedies in the comment section of the internet, never done me wrong yet.

  3. Dehydration makes people do funny things.

  4. CL Wilkinson says:

    Unless your immune system is severely compromised, you should avoid these rx “fixes”. When our son was four years old (he was an asthmatic), our pediatrician insisted he should take the flu vaccine, which I had declined the years prior. He used fear tactics using asthma as the excuse, so I relented and allowed the vaccine. Within 15 minutes, we were back at the doctor’s office, who THEN sent us straight to the ER! And NO, our son is not allergic to eggs. The doctor never again insisted I give either of our kids the flu vaccine. Folks, let your immune system do its job – unless you are already severely compromised. WASH HANDS frequently. If someone sneezes near you, turn away – the germs stay airborne for about two minutes.

    I have had CFIDS since 1987 and was constantly getting sick from going around other people who were sick. After I started practicing common sense approaches, and started wiping shopping cart handles down before touching them and stopped touching store doors with my bare hands, I stopped getting sick…. even to this day.

    Stop risking your lives with all these prescriptions and use common sense. This child should NOT have been at school if she had the flu – I agree with the other poster!

  5. Why would a six year old take an adult medication?

    1. Michael Ryan says:

      Tamiflu is approved for children 6 months and older. Reactions are rare, if an elderly or young person gets the real flu, this drug can be life saving. Current flu vaccination is only 10-30% effective in treating this more severe strain. We will likely see a much higher death rate among the elderly population this yaer.

  6. Greg Merle says:

    I sold Tamiflu for 10 years and I’ve never heard of a physician telling me that they had a bad reaction with this drug. Even though I no longer work for the company, I’ll stand by it and say that it’s a wonder drug. Saved me and my family’s ass many times.

  7. I suffered toxic shock with nervous system and frontal lobe atrophy damage after taking OTC allergy pills, anticholenergic syndrome is what the Dr. called it.

  8. Vox Veritas says:

    CBS = Fake news

  9. My nieces 53 year old husband took one dose of Tamiflu and died suddenly from respiratory failure.

  10. Bob Mozes says:

    I find it disheartening that both the public and the medical community, in general, seemingly cannot ascertain the simple cure for the common flu. Disinformation is the rule of thumb. Case in point, comments from Mr. Lewis above: “I read that D-3 protects the lungs from getting colds and flu but I still got a cold each winter.” Mr. Lewis indicates that he has taken 5,000 IU a day for 5 years since 2011. I strongly suggest that those of us living “above” the 35th parallel in the US take at least 5,000 UI of Vitamin D3 every day during the winter months, possibly more. Why?

    Let’s answer this via the summer months. During the summer the Sun’s rays are at an optimum placement for production of Vitamin D3 via sunlight and exposure to human skin (no sunscreen as that defeats the purpose). When an average person walks into the sunlight on a sunny day in the summer (I live in Idaho well above the 35th parallel), the exposed skin, with NO sunscreen, absorbs the Sun’s rays. Just 20 minutes of this exposure allows the human body to convert “sunlight” to 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3 (yes 20 thousand units). Then, because our bodies are designed to “know” how much is too much, the body stops, yes “stops” the conversion process. Any further exposure to sunlight only begins to tan or darken the skin, thus cover up.

    Now on to the next day. The following day, the average person again walks into the sunlight, and again, with no sunscreen to prevent this natural process from occurring, permits the Sun to interact with their skin for 20 minutes. Once again, this 20 minute exposure to sunlight allows the body to convert sunlight to another 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3. And, once again after the 20 minutes the body terminates the conversion process as the cells in our body “know” when enough is enough (its part of the autonomic nervous system and does the job for us so we don’t have to think about it, like blinking or breathing).

    A peculiar aspect to this is that the human body will not suddenly react with an overdose from this process of daily absorbing 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3 from sunlight exposure on a day to day basis. The overdose from Vitamin D3 usually occurs when we take Vitamin D3 supplements. The FDA has yet to accurately stipulate what are toxicity levels for Vitamin D3 (their data 1-does not take into account the process described above of 20 minutes of sunlight supplies the body with 20,000 IU of Vitamin D3, and 2-every six or eight months the FDA raises the toxicity levels in Vitamin D3 from what they were to a higher level, in other words they’re not sure because there is no $$$ to be made by the drug companies to find out if Vitamin D3 is beneficial to cure disease which it is but that’s another discussion or blog).

    Interestingly, the Vitamin D council (www.vitamindcouncil.org) online states: “Although most people take vitamin D supplements without any problems, it’s possible to take too much. This is called vitamin D toxicity, where vitamin D can be harmful, usually happens if you take 40,000 IU per day for a couple of months or longer, or take a very large one-time dose.”

    Did you read the above carefully? 40,000 IU a day for a couple of months or longer. Exposure to the Sun for 20 minutes a day allows the body to naturally convert sunlight to 1/2 that amount or 20,000 IU a day. Thus there is no possible way to have toxicity of Vitamin D3 via exposure to sunlight for 20 minutes a day. Now I recognize that the naysayers will indicate that that’s why you use sunscreen, to protect the skin from toxicity and cancer (sorry but this is a new kind of stupid). We’re not talking 1 hour or more of exposure to sunlight a day, but 20 minutes then cover up (notice I did not state put on sunscreen).

    So, what does the average person do during the winter months when they live above the 35th parallel and avoid getting the flu? This is what I have done since 2004 and have not had a cold or the flu since (now my definition of the flu is different than most. I define a flu as being in bed for up to 3 or more days with a fever, coughing, sneezing, etc. That I have not had since 2004. I have been around individual with the flu and kids who are sick but have it has not resulted in “being in bed for 3 days” flu).

    When fall and winter comes in Idaho I take 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3. If I begin to get a cough and it lasts more than 2 days, I take 150,000 IU of Vitamin D3 for three days then back to 10,000 IU until spring. Now let me explain. The 150,000 IU is “Intensive Care” and my physician recommends that for me and his patients. My wife and I do not purchase Vitamin D3 from either a health food store or other retail outlets (I am a label reader and have been since 1980 after taking a course to understand what the ingredients are which are listed on labels. Thus, many of the bottles of Vitamin D3 do not contain 100% Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, but other fillers).

    One final point, please consult your health care professional before taking any medication or health supplements and above all remember that MD does not stand for Medical Deity, but using the phonic spelling MD actually stands for Medical Degree. Simply stated, a physician is constantly learning. When a physician graduates from medical school their Medical Degree is just their beginning to learning more. Their Medical Degree now gives then permission to advance by “Practicing” legally on real people and determine if a particular diagnosis and recommendation on treatment is appropriate to heal the sick and afflicted. My father has two PhD, he cares nothing for them because as he views them they are just paper. Being 90 he often reminds: “Son, you know that I have two PhD, one in each ear. They are called a Physical hearing Device.” To me that is the best definition of a PhD. Its not the paper, its the person and how they use the knowledge in treating other for the better.

    1. John Curry says:

      No Bob MD does not stand for “Medical Degree” it stands for Doctor of Medicine, a Doctorate in Medicine, just like D.O. Stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine. A Doctorate or Doctor’s Degree can be obtained in many fields and is achieved by many years of study in a field, usually 4 years beyond the 4 year college degree called a Bachelors Degree and 2 years beyond a Master’s Degree. If you can’t get something so simple right or are too lazy to look up the term in a dictionary or online, why would anyone believe the other things you typed. While you might be right about vitamin D3 you being wrong about something so simple makes one wonder if anything you say is true. Please don’t be lazy, look something up if you are not sure.

  11. “Anti-racists” say there’s a RACE problem. They say it’ll be solved when non-Whites pour into ALL & ONLY White nations and “assimilate” to get a brown mixture.

    They say only White nations have this RACE problem; they say non-White nations are fine.

    If I object to my own genocide these “anti-racists” say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they’re anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  12. My husband suffered from hallucinations attributed to Tamiflu last year after he was hospitalized for flu with pneumonia (despite getting a flu shot). He had been prescribed the drug after being discharged from the hospital. We called the pharmacist who was already aware of this as a side effect, as was the doctor who prescribed it. No one had mentioned this fact to us. He discontinued taking it immediately, but this is not a sudden discovery.

  13. I almost died from Tamiflu in 2013 after developing TTP, which is rare and almost always fatal blood disorder. For 5 days, in the ICU, I had to have blood transfusions and complete plasma transfer. I barely made it.TTP has a 95% morality rate. The Wisconsin Blood Center (a leading authority) studied my case for months to find a cause. I took Tamiflu and in 36 hours I was deathly ill. The doctors at laying the cause for my sudden illness at the feet of Tamiflu. Don’t take it! It does not help that much. My treatment and hospitalization was $48,000.00 for 5 days.

    1. Tom Corey says:

      TTP does NOT have a 95% mortality rate. More like 10% since the plasma exchange therapy was developed in the early 1990s.
      While your TTP /may/ have been caused by Tamiflu, that by no means translates to “don’t take it” for the population at large.
      ALL drugs have some risk. Any patient must weigh those risks against the potential benefits.

  14. So will there be a black market for tamiflu for an out of body experience?

  15. Len Mullen says:

    Pretty soon you will be able to report on a Tamiflu epidemic because some stupid media outlet told a lot of stupid people they can get high off the medicine. Morons.

  16. Davy Lane says:

    The hallucinations are more common than 1%. My son had them. It is beyond frightening. “The voices, make them stop!” “Don’t let them hurt me!” Tamiflu is subjecting your child to a real life horror movie. What’s even worse, the hallucinations recurred for weeks following our immediate ceasing of the use of the drug. THIS IS REAL. Japan has banned TamiFlu after several children plunged to their deaths off high rise balconies or stepped into traffic attempting to escape the hallucinations. NEVER, NEVER administer this drug to your child. Tamiflu is not a cure. You’re risking subjecting your child to weeks of nightmarish torture for the convenience of lessening flu symptoms for a couple days. Don’t do it!

  17. Janet Martin says:

    Read the data sheets–I know they are long and the fine print is intimidating, but the information is there. I’ve had “1%” side effects through the years. I don’t know how the drug manufacturer or the prescribing physician can be held accountable when it is the responsibility of the patient–or in this case the patient’s parents–to read and understand the known risks of any drug and look out for the particular negative side effects that are listed.

    I guess I’ve been saved from the evils of opioids–they give me hallucinations as does over the counter Sudafed which gave me one of the scariest experiences of my life.

  18. I took that stuff once when I got the flu (after having a flu shot). Ended up vomiting for day and developed pneumonia.

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