Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007

Girl who fell may have taken Tamiflu

NAGOYA (Kyodo) A 14-year-old girl who died Friday after apparently falling from an upper floor of a condominium in Aichi Prefecture may have taken the flu drug Tamiflu before her death, police said Saturday.

Saiha Kokubo, a second-year junior high school student in Gamagori, was diagnosed with influenza at a hospital on Friday and was prescribed Tamiflu, her mother said, adding the girl is believed to have taken some of the tablets.

There have been reports that the antiviral drug may cause abnormal behavior among some children leading to their deaths. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has denied any causal relation between the deaths and the drug.

Kokubo was found on the ground near the building and was later confirmed dead, according to the police. She lived on the 10th floor.

Roche Files Application In Europe For Tamiflu 30 And 45 Mg Capsules

Roche has filed an application with regulatory authorities in Europe requesting an extension of the current Tamiflu license to include smaller capsules of 30 mg and 45 mg in addition to the 75 mg capsule already registered. These lower dosage strengths have been developed mainly for use in children for seasonal and pandemic influenza, as an alternative to the suspension formulation.

Junior high school boy leaps to death from apartment complex after taking Tamiflu
February 27, 2007

SENDAI -- A junior high school boy leaped to his death from a high-rise apartment complex here in the early hours of Tuesday after taking Tamiflu, an anti-flu drug that has been linked with erratic behavior, police said.

Local police are investigating the causal relationship between the medicine and his death. They said the possibility that he committed suicide is slim, noting that he had no particular trouble and left no suicide note.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said the ministry will step up efforts to see if there are causal relations between the anti-flu medicine and children's erratic behavior. "The causal relationship (between Tamiflu and jumping off buildings) has not been proven yet."

At around 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday, the 14-year-old boy plunged some 30 meters from the 11th floor of an apartment block in Miyagino-ku, Sendai, investigators said. He died shortly afterwards from massive head injuries.

The boy, a second-year student at a local junior high school, had been diagnosed as suffering from influenza at a hospital on Monday morning, and took a Tamiflu tablet at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on the day.

He woke up late at night and complained that he felt ill. His 41-year-old mother tried to give him another tablet, but decided not to do so because less than eight hours had passed since he took one.

Shortly afterwards, he told his mother that he would go to the restroom, but instead left his 11th-floor apartment, jumped over a 1.26-meter-high fence and plunged to his death.

As of October 2006, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry had confirmed 16 cases in which children aged 16 or below showed erratic behavior and died after taking Tamiflu. (Mainichi)