The debate over whether children should take the Roche swine-flu medication Tamiflu has been added to by reports of 686 suspected adverse reactions.
According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the most common side effect in children is vomiting, 15%, diarrhoea, 10%, abdominal pain, 5%, and nausea, 3%.
Of adults and adolescents taking the drug, 11% experienced nausea and 8% vomiting, according to the summary of product characteristics.
Meanwhile, 4% of children with asthma experienced worse symptoms when taking the drug, the same proportion as those taking a placebo.
But by the sixth and last day of treatment, the lung function was better in children taking Tamiflu: their forced expiratory volume increased by 10.8% compared with 4.7% among the placebo group.
The MHRA says that 418 reports of Tamiflu side effects have been received between April 1 and August 6, with 125 received in the last week.
Copyright Press Association 2009