Is Tamiflu Right For You?


With this year's widespread influenza outbreak, you may have heard of Tamiflu, an antiviral medicine used as a treatment option for influenza. While Tamiflu may minimize flu symptoms, it won't help everyone with the flu. Galen Engel, CNP, a trusted provider at IHA Urgent Care locations advises on common questions about Tamiflu - learn why it may or may not be the right option for you this flu season. 

I visited an IHA Urgent Care location and was tested for the flu - it turns out I have it. Why didn't the Urgent Care provider prescribe me Tamiflu? I want to feel better, stat. 

Tamiflu isn't a cure-all treatment for influenza. First, it is only recommended within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends prescribing Tamiflu for "high risk" populations like those with chronic conditions (including asthma and diabetes), immunocompromised individuals, children less than 2 years of age (and some children less than 5 years of age), and pregnant women. Learn more about "high risk" populations. Finally, it is very important to have a conversation with the provider you are seeing at an IHA Urgent Care location to review your medical history and the length of your illness, so the best medical decision can be made for you as an individual. 

My kids / coworkers / classmates have the flu - can I get Tamiflu so that I don't get sick too? 

Tamiflu as a preventive measure should be considered for populations who are "high risk" (see above) for complications from influenza - Tamiflu and other antiviral drugs may prevent serious complications and can make you feel better, faster. If you are concerned about exposure to the influenza virus, contact your primary care provider for guidance about possible preventive treatment. 

I've been sick for days - I heard Tamiflu is the only thing that works! Can I get it? 

Tamiflu is recommended within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. 

I just started experiencing flu-like symptoms a few hours ago - what should I do? 

If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a "high risk" group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your primary care provider as soon as possible for guidance about treatment. Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. 

Please seek medical attention immediately if you have any of the following: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, purple or blue discoloration of the lips, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, seizures or flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough. Learn more about taking care of yourself & others through the flu. 

I'm breastfeeding my baby - will Tamiflu help me keep her safe from the flu? 

Tamiflu is advised to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding if necessary. There is a very low concentration of Tamiflu in breast milk. However, if you have the flu it is important to take precautions to avoid spreading the flu to your infant as babies cannot get a flu shot under 6 months old. Influenza may cause serious illness in postpartum women and prompt evaluation for febrile respiratory illnesses is recommended. Learn more about protecting your baby from the flu. 



The 2017 - 2018 flu season is beginning to wane, but it is always important to protect yourself and others from the spread of the flu. If you haven't had a flu shot since September 2017, it's not too late - learn more & schedule your flu shot at IHA. 


Information for this blog post was interpreted from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's resources on influenza. 

Cervical Health Awareness Image



Did you know that nearly 13,000 women are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer each year in the United States alone? January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a time to take the opportunity to learn how to monitor your own cervical health for early detection of cervical cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) related issues. It is important to stay up-to-date with cervical cancer screening recommended by your OB-GYN provider based on your age. Stay in touch with your body – here are common recommendations for women of all ages:

AGES 9-26

It’s time to get your Gardasil Immunization to prevent infection and transmission of the most common strains of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus, the most common cause of cervical dysplasias and cervical cancers). No cervical screening is recommended for young women before age 21.

AGES 21-29

When you turn 21, it’s time to start with regular cervical cytology – commonly known as the Pap test or Pap smear - every three years. If your results are ASCUS (borderline between normal and abnormal), your doctor may recommend HPV triage, which is done using the same cells taken at your screening and will look for any high-risk HPV infections. This approach may be taken between ages 21 and 24 and it is preferable between ages 25 and 29.

AGES 30-65

At age 30 it is recommended to maintain cervical cytology alone every three years, or to get co-testing, cytology and viral culture, every five years.


Once you reach age 65, no cervical screening is needed if prior testing has been normal. 


Of course, your gynecologist will chart your plan of care based on your personal screening history – it can vary, but annual care is most important!


Learn more about cervical health and cancer warning signs from the CDC. 

Learn more about HPV screening and safety from the CDC. 

I Vaccinate is a campaign focused on informing Michigan parents about vaccinations using information and tools based on real medical science and research. Support for the campaign is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Franny Strong Foundation.

At IHA, we believe in the safety and benefits of childhood immunizations. We advocate following the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for immunizations. We stay informed about newly published immunization studies and have not seen any studies that lead us to support the delay of immunizations or use of alternative immunization schedules. Alternative immunization schedules leave children unprotected at the most vulnerable ages.

To best protect your children, our other patients, as well as our staff and providers from preventable illnesses, we have made the decision to only accept new families into our practices who plan to fully immunize their children according to the Center for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. If your child is behind on the recommended immunizations, the office may contact you or we ask that you discuss this with your child’s provider at their next visit.

Click here to learn more about I Vaccinate.