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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Asian Beauty:Maki.Y | Abnormal reaction to Tamiflu medicine tied to deaths of two boys

Two boys have died after reacting abnormally to the flu medicine Tamiflu, with one plunging to his death from a condominium and the other jumping in front of a truck, a doctor has announced.
Even though a document attached to Tamiflu warns that the drug could cause abnormal behavior or hallucinations, this is the first time that such a reaction has led to a death.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has confirmed the cause of death of at least one of the boys was the result of side-effects from the drug.
The doctor, Rokuro Hama, who heads the Japan Institute of Pharmacovigilance for Evidence-Based Healthcare, will report the details of their deaths in a session of the Japanese Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases under way in Tsu, Mie Prefecture.
A 17-year-old high school boy took a Tamiflu capsule at his home in Gifu Prefecture in February last year after being diagnosed as suffering from influenza, Hama said. While all his family members were away from home, he suddenly jumped over the fence around his home even though it was snowing at the time. He then jumped over a guardrail, hitting an oncoming truck and died.
Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., the importer of Tamiflu, reported the incident to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, saying that the possibility that the medicine caused his odd behavior cannot be ruled out.
A 14-year-old junior high school boy also took a Tamiflu capsule at his home in Aichi Prefecture at around 4 p.m. on Feb. 5 this year after he was diagnosed with the flu. About two hours later, he was found lying on the ground in front of the condominium where he lived. His fingerprints were found on a handrail on the ninth floor of the complex, leading police investigators to suspect that he plunged to his death.
The boys had never shown any abnormal behavior before they took Tamiflu.
Besides these fatal cases, a teenage girl attempted to jump from a window two days after taking Tamiflu, but her mother managed to stop her.


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