Common Drugs to Treat the Flu

These antiviral drugs are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to treat the flu. They are available by prescription only and should be taken within 24–48 hours of developing flu symptoms. This table provides only general information about these drugs. Consulting a health-care provider is necessary to determine whether these drugs are right for any individual.

Brand Name / (Generic Name): Tamiflu / (oseltamivir)
Adult Dosage: 75 mg twice daily for 5 days (for adults and children ages 13 and above)
How It’s Taken: By mouth: capsules or liquid
Common Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting (taking the drug with food can help minimize these effects)
Approved Age Range: Age one and above


Brand Name / (Generic Name): Relenza / (zanamivir)
Adult Dosage: 10 mg twice daily for 5 days
How It’s Taken: Inhaled: powder taken with an inhaler device
Common Side Effects: Dizziness, runny nose, cough, diarrhea, nausea, headache
Approved Age Range: Age seven and above