01/09/2014 11:12 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Liquid Form Of Tamiflu Experiencing Shortages


There is a shortage of the liquid form of the prescription flu drug Tamiflu, which is typically administered to children who can't yet swallow pills, according to a notice from the Food and Drug Administration.

"Genentech is experiencing temporary delays in manufacturing of Oral suspension. A brief shortage of Oral Suspension is expected in early‐mid January," according to the notice, which was posted earlier this week.

WebMD pointed out that this particular drug is typically administered to children and people who have trouble swallowing.

The FDA notice said that the Tamiflu 30 mg, 45 mg and 75 mg capsules are still available, and that "pediatric patients over 1 year of age can be dosed correctly using the 30 mg and 45 mg capsules."

If a person is unable to swallow the capsules, the "capsules can be opened and the contents may be mixed with chocolate syrup or some other thick, sweet liquid, as directed by a healthcare professional," according to the notice.

Tamiflu is an antiviral drug that is taken as a treatment for flu, and can be taken by people as young as age 2; it can also be taken as a preventive drug against the flu for certain people.

HealthDay noted that flu vaccines -- which are the best way to prevent flu -- are not experiencing shortages, and this year's flu season has so far been typical and not yet at epidemic levels.

"We're not experiencing an unexpected amount of influenza this season," Dr. Robert Wergin, who is the president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told HealthDay. "We anticipate increasing activity, but none of this is out of the ordinary for flu season in America."