Health Canada

Health Canada

October 23, 2009 11:34 ET

Information Update: Important Tamiflu Information for Health Professionals

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 23, 2009) - In response to an increase in the overall demand for Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and in order to ensure adequate supply for all patients, the manufacturer Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. has given higher priority to the production of Tamiflu capsules over the powder used for preparing the liquid formulation. This liquid formulation is primarily used in young children or adults with difficulty swallowing capsules. As a result, the manufacturer has informed health authorities that the global supply of Tamiflu Powder for Oral Suspension is limited and may continue to be so throughout this flu season.

Accordingly, Health Canada would like to remind healthcare providers and pharmacists of approved instructions for emergency compounding of Tamiflu capsules into liquid formulation found on page 16 of the product monograph for Tamiflu (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodpharma/activit/proj/monograph-rev/noticepm_avismp_2008-eng.php). The compounding procedure, which involves mixing the powder inside the capsules with a syrup, results in a 15 mg/mL suspension. The commercially available Tamiflu for Oral Suspension has a concentration of 12 mg/mL.

Dosing recommendations according to the Tamiflu Canadian product monograph for patients greater than 1 year of age and the dosing instructions for patients less than 1 year of age are summarized in the recently issued Health Professional Communication of October 13, 2009 (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/advisories-avis/prof/_2009/tamiflu_2_hpc-cps-eng.php).

Pharmacists should also note that the Ora-Sweet SF sugar free oral syrup used in the emergency compounding may be experiencing increased demand in some locations. Paddock Laboratories, the manufacturer, reports that they have increased production to meet demands and are currently responding to outstanding orders.

For additional information, pharmacists should refer to the product monograph. Should pharmacists have any questions or require additional information regarding the use of Tamiflu, they should contact the Drug Information Department at Hoffman-LaRoche Limited at 1-888-762-4388 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday Eastern Standard Time.

Pharmacists and Canadians requiring more information about this advisory can contact Health Canada's public inquiries line at (613) 957-2991, or call toll free at 1-866-225-0709.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983
    or
    Public Inquiries:
    613-957-2991
    1-866-225-0709