Last week, the FDA notified consumers and healthcare professionals about a potentially harmful product represented as "Generic Tamiflu" sold over the Internet. FDA tests revealed that the fraudulent product does not contain Tamiflu’s active ingredient, oseltamivir, but cloxacillin, an ingredient in the same class of antibiotics as penicillin. Patients who are allergic to penicillin products are at risk of experiencing similar reactions from cloxacillin, including a sudden, potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, with symptoms that include difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the throat or tongue, hives, dizziness, loss of consciousness, or a rapid or weak pulse.
Anyone possessing or encountering any of these fraudulent Tamiflu drugs should not to use them and to contact the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations by visiting the OCI website.
When shopping for prescription drugs online, make sure to buy only from legitimate internet pharmacies, which are licensed by the appropriate U.S. Board of Pharmacy. Among other checks, make sure to look for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Verified Internet Pharmacy Sites Seal, also known as a VIPPS Seal, which gives a seal of approval to pharmacy sites that apply and meet state licensure requirements. Legitimate pharmacies that carry the VIPPS seal are listed here.