flu complications

  1. A peek behind the Tamiflu curtain

    New study exposes old lies over flu drug

    Tamiflu just doesn't work too well -- we already know that. And if you think what we already know about the drug makes it unimpressive, wait 'til you get a glimpse of what we DIDN'T know... until now.

    Roche, the company that makes this bad-news flu med, is sitting on heaps and heaps of secret data -- including EIGHT unpublished studies and 60 percent of all patient data from the drug's phase III clinical trials, according to the Cochrane Collaboration researchers behind the latest attempt to study the drug.

    Think the company is hiding something? You can take it to the bank that they're hiding something!

    Since Roche wouldn't give up the files, the Cochrane team used Europe's Freedom of Information laws to get 25,000 pages of previously unreleased data from health officials there.

    It's still not the complete record on Tamiflu -- not even close -- but hidden in those pages were enough shenanigans to put a traveling carnival to shame.

    For example, the placebo used in many of the studies wasn't a placebo at all. There was nothing "inert" about it -- because it contained TWO chemicals that are neither normal placebo ingredients nor chemicals used in or with the drug itself.

    That alone is enough to toss these studies right into the trash -- but believe it or not, that wasn't the only problem with the placebo group. The Cochrane team found that these patients were more likely to get an actual flu diagnosis than those on the med.

    This could mean the drug messes with the body's antibody response, although the company claims it doesn't. But it could also mean that they simply preselected sicker patients for the placebo group to make the drug look better.

    Think that's enough? Not even close! The Cochrane team even found raw data that didn't match what was actually published.

    In one study, for example, Tamiflu researchers claimed ZERO serious adverse events linked to the drug. Buried in the study data, however, the Cochrane team found THREE.

    Not quite the same as zero, is it?

    Here's the real deal on Tamiflu: Once you strip away the lies and focus on the data, you get a drug that won't lower your risk of flu complications including pneumonia... won't keep you out of the hospital... and will only shorten your flu symptoms by less than a day.

    In return, you risk side effects linked to the drug ranging from even more flu symptoms to delirium, hallucinations and suicide.

    That's not a cure. That's a nightmare.

  2. Phony panic over flu drugs

    Ineffective flu drug loses effectiveness

    Tamiflu doesn't work? Tell me something I don't know!

    It's already one of the most ineffective "treatments" on the planet -- but World Health Organization researchers claim it's now completely ineffective against at least one strain of swine flu in Australia.

    Yawn.

    You'll have to excuse me for not getting worked up over this -- because Tamiflu is barely more effective than wishful thinking even in the best of times, cutting symptoms by about a day or so.

    And even then, it only "works" if you take the med within 2 days of the first symptoms.

    Since most people don't even make it to the doctor unless they've been sick for several days, that makes Tamiflu about as useful against flu as an empty tissue box.

    But the WHO researchers are ready to turn this into a full-blown panic, claiming that this might be especially bad for seniors, who could face a higher risk of flu complications without the drug.

    I guess these scientists haven't been keeping up with the science -- because a major review from the Cochrane Collaboration found that Tamiflu may do zippo for flu complications anyway.

    It doesn't lower the risk of respiratory infections, pneumonia or anything else -- and it comes with a risk of side effects that can be every bit as bad as the flu itself: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

    It's also been linked to severe allergic reactions, confusion, hallucinations and bizarre behavior -- especially in children.

    I'll take the flu over that any day!

    Let me tell you what's really going on here: This has been an incredibly mild flu season -- yet again -- so no one's getting vaccinated. But if people hear flu drugs don't work, maybe they'll run out and get a flu shot after all.

    But you don't need a vaccine to avoid the flu... and you certainly don't need Tamiflu to beat it if you do happen to catch the virus, no matter what strain it is.

    Try chicken soup and vitamin D instead.

  3. Exposing yourself to flu is a bad idea

    You'd have to be feverish to think it's a good idea to get the flu on purpose – and you'd have to be demented to deliberately expose a child.

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