Rapivab vs Tamiflu – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Rapivab

It is the brand name if a drug called peramivir, that belongs to a group of drugs known as neuraminidase inhibitors.

Mechanism of Action

It works by attacking the influenza virus to stop it from spreading inside the body.

The drug was first approved by the US FDA in December 2014. It is produced by BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to prevent and treat “the flu,” an infection caused by the influenza virus.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is a single 600 mg dose, administered via intravenous infusion for 15 to 30 minutes.

Note – it can be used in children 2 years and older and adults.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • constipation;
  • diarrhea.

Rare side effects may include:

  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • hallucinations;
  • confusion;
  • new or worsening flu symptoms.

Contraindications

Before taking this neuraminidase inhibitor, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you have received a nasal flu vaccine within the past 14 days;
  • if you suffer from kidney disease.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this neuraminidase inhibitor since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • influenza virus vaccine, live, trivalent;
  • influenza virus vaccine, h1n1, live.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this neuraminidase inhibitor is safe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this neuraminidase inhibitor.

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It is not known exactly whether this neuraminidase inhibitor passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this neuraminidase inhibitor.

Tamiflu

It is the brand name of a medication called oseltamivir, which belongs to a group of medications known as neuraminidase inhibitors.

The US Food and Drug Administration originally approved it in 1999. It is produced by Roche Pharmaceuticals, a Swiss multinational healthcare company.

Mechanism of Action

This medication works by attacking the influenza virus in order to stop it from spreading inside the body.

Uses

This prescription medication is typically used to prevent and treat “the flu,” a respiratory infection caused by a number of viruses.

If it is used within 2 days of the start of flu symptoms, this medication can reduce the time it takes for flu symptoms to improve by approximately 24 hours.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose of this medication is 75 mg twice a day for 5 days.

Pregnancy & Breastfeedingpregnant

Some animal studies have concluded that this neuraminidase inhibitor may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor that you are pregnant before taking this neuraminidase inhibitor.

Moreover, according to studies, small amounts of this neuraminidase inhibitor enter the breast milk. Tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding a baby before taking this neuraminidase inhibitor.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • pain;
  • vomiting;
  • headaches.

Less common side effects may include:

  • hives;
  • burning in your eyes;
  • a sore throat;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • fever;
  • swelling in your face or tongue;
  • skin pain;
  • chest pain or tightness;
  • a red skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
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Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • ibuprofen;
  • amoxicillin;
  • metformin;
  • acyclovir;
  • Mucinex (guaifenesin);
  • azithromycin;
  • tramadol;
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • lisinopril;
  • doxycycline;
  • Motrin (ibuprofen);
  • albuterol;
  • yescarta;
  • prednisone;
  • Flonase (fluticasone nasal);
  • omeprazole;
  • amlodipine;
  • Singulair (montelukast);
  • aspirin;
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • hydrochlorothiazide;
  • phenibut;
  • gabapentin.

Contraindications

To make sure that this neuraminidase inhibitor is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • heart disease;
  • a condition causing disorder of the brain;
  • weak immune system;
  • kidney disease;
  • chronic lung disease;
  • hereditary fructose intolerance;
  • liver disease;
  • if you have used a nasal flu vaccine within the past 14 days.

Alcohol

Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages while taking this neuraminidase inhibitor since alcohol can cause dehydration and stomach discomfort and weakens the immune system.

Bottom Line – Rapivab vs Tamiflu

Rapivab (active ingredient – peramivir) is a medication that is used to treat influenza in adults who have had flu symptoms for up to 2 days. It works by preventing an enzyme in the human body from releasing virus from infected cells.

Tamiflu (active ingredient – oseltamivir) is an antiviral medication that is used to treat influenza in people who have had flu symptoms for 2 days or less. It works by blocking the actions of influenza virus types A and B in the body.

Currently, for treating influenza, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the antiviral drugs zanamivir (Relenza), oseltamivir (Tamiflu), or peramivir (Rapivab). However, Rapivab is the first one that is administered intravenously in a single dose.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 3 vials (20ml) of Rapivab 200mg/20ml is $980, while the average retail price for 1 dose pack (10 capsules) of Tamiflu 30mg is $154.

References

https://www.rapivab.com/themes/rapivab/pdf/ReprintCarrier.pdf
https://www.pbm.va.gov/PBM/clinicalguidance/drugmonographs/Peramivir
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2014/206426lbl.pdf

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