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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tamiflu Metabolite Measured in Japanese Sewage Discharge, River Water

Tamiflu Metabolite Measured in Japanese Sewage Discharge, River Water - This story, posted to Newswise on Monday, September 29, has attracted quite a lot of attention, particularly as the H1N1 flu virus continues to affect concerns about the upcoming flu season.

Tamiflu is arguably the most popular over-the-counter treatment, and is considered a viable option to at least speed up recovery if you've already come down with the flu. One potential complication, however, is that trace amounts of Tamiflu's active ingredient, oseltamivir carboxylate (OC), is now showing up in treated sewage and river water.

From the article:

"[I]n the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), researchers measured oseltamivir carboxylate (OC), the active metabolite of the popular anti-influenza drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), in samples of sewage discharge and river water collected near Kyoto City during Japan’s 2008–2009 flu season."

The results indicate the potential damage these trace amounts of OC could cause:

"...the peak drug concentrations observed in this study may be high enough to promote the emergence of drug-resistant influenza strains in waterfowl exposed to OC-contaminated waterways."

Researchers continue to examine the possibility of drug-resistant viruses, so watch Newswise for the results of those future studies. Follow our Feature News Channels on Drug-Resistant Superbugs and a Breaking News Channel on H1N1 Influenza.


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