Patients using Tamiflu -- which many nations are stocking up on as a way to combat a possible pandemic of the deadly H5N1 bird flu -- reported delirium, hallucinations, delusions, convulsions, disturbed consciousness and abnormal behavior. The FDA reports that side effects reported with Tamiflu include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bronchitis, stomach pain, dizziness and headache.
Three people on the drug have committed suicide by leaping to their deaths, and one Japanese child reportedly ran out of his house and responded to his name in growls after treatment.
According to Doyle and internet drug index RxList.com, the 75-milligram Tamiflu capsules contain:
Oseltamivir phosphate - The active ingredient in Tamiflu
Black iron oxide (E172)
FD&C Blue 2 (indigo carmine, E132) - A synthetic dye
Gelatin - A protein product traditionally made with animal byproducts
Pregelatinised maize starch Red iron oxide (E172) Shellac - A "natural plastic" secreted from the female lac insect. Sodium Stearyl Fumarate Talc - Preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung cancer, skin cancer and ovarian cancer have been established in studies
Titanium dioxide (E171) Yellow iron oxide (E172)
The 12-milligram oral suspension of Tamiflu contains:
Saccharin sodium (E954) - A chemical sweetener linked to cancer in some studies
Sodium benzoate (E211) - When combined with absorbic acid (vitamin C), sodium benzoate can form benzene, a known carcinogen
Sodium dihydrogen citrate (E331 (a))
Sorbitol (E420) - A sugar substitute that can cause gastrointestinal problems
Titanium dioxide (E171)
Tutti Frutti flavor
Propylene glycol - Although generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, propylene glycol is used as a food-grade antifreeze and is the primary ingredient of the paint inside a paintball
Arabic gum (E414)
Natural identical flavoring substances (mainly banana, pineapple and peach)
Xantham gum (E415)
Doyle warns that the reactions possibly linked to the drug warrant caution and she suggests that anyone who has reacted to Tamiflu in the past discontinue use and consult a medical professional. She adds that the medicines chlorpropamide, methotrexate and phenylbutazone may adversely react with Tamiflu.
"This list of ingredients is downright amazing," said Mike Adams, author of "How to Beat the Bird Flu." "It contains an antifreeze used to winterize RVs, a chemical sweetener known to promote cancer, and a chemical preservative also known to promote cancer. Is it any wonder this drug, with all its chemical interactions, causes some people to go crazy and leap from tall buildings?
"This is yet one more reason why the public needs to be informed about safe, natural anti-viral herbs and bird flu remedies," he said. "The active ingredient in Tamiflu is derived from a Chinese medicine herb, for example, yet no public official is telling people the name of that herb. They want Americans to buy the high-profit medicines, not stock up on natural herbs."