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Cold and Flu Center

How to Get Kids to Take Tamiflu

author image Juniper Russo
Juniper Russo, an eclectic autodidact, has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in several online and print-based publications, including Animal Wellness. Russo regularly publishes health-related content and advocates an evidence-based, naturopathic approach to health care.
How to Get Kids to Take Tamiflu
A pharmacist holds up a box of Tamilflu. Photo Credit Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Tamiflu is a trade name for the prescription drug oseltamivir. It remains a popular but controversial treatment for influenza infection in children. In August 2009, the U.K.-based newspaper "The Guardian" warned against the use of Tamiflu for children under 12 years old, citing serious side effects and insufficient evidence of its efficacy. Nevertheless, governing bodies and expert organizations in the United States still support the use of Tamiflu in the fight against pediatric flu infections. If your child's pediatrician has prescribed Tamiflu, consider using these simple techniques to encourage your child to take the product.

Step 1

Serve a meal or snack to your child before administering Tamiflu. The National Institutes of Health states that food can minimize the gastrointestinal side effects associated with this drug. A child is more likely to take Tamiflu readily if he does not experience nausea, vomiting or other side effects shortly after using the medication.

Step 2

Engage your child in discussion, then casually ask her to open her mouth as you administer the medicine. If she refuses to open her mouth, offer her one or two minutes to prepare and then try again.

Step 3

Place the Tamiflu under your child's tongue if he objects to the medicine's taste or texture. He will not taste as much of the medication and will find it harder to spit out.

Step 4

Immediately offer your child a sweet, rich-tasting food, such as chocolate pudding, to help eliminate the unpleasant aftertaste of Tamiflu. A treat will reward your child for cooperation while also eliminating the medication's residue from her tongue.

Step 5

Consider giving your child a sticker or small toy as a gift after he takes the medication. He will be more likely to cooperate in the future if he associates medication with a follow-up reward.

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