Six patients who received influenza treatment Tamiflu had neuropsychiatric anomalies, and two of them leaped to death in the past five years, government data showed.
According to Rep. Kim Seung-hee of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, who cited data at the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, Tamiflu prescriptions amounted to 4.37 million between 2013 and September 2018, with 1,086 cases of side effects reported.
The adverse drug effects not only included common ones such as gastrointestinal disorder but neuropsychiatric disorders, including suicide.
Six cases were related to suicide-related abnormalities, and four of them appeared in pediatric patients.
Two out of the six patients died. Both of the two were minors who jumped to death from their apartment homes only hours after taking Tamiflu. Some others had a suicidal impulse or complained of hallucinations or memory loss.
Kim criticized the food and drug safety ministry for poorly notifying the risks of Tamiflu’s side effects and blaming guardians for not paying extra attention to side effects.
The ministry notified on its website that “Tamiflu takers may have side effects, but patients need to take the drug as there is no oral substitute and Tamilfu was effective to treat influenza infection.” The ministry advised guardians monitor pediatric patients carefully and make sure they are not alone.
“Tamiflu’s side effects have been an issue for quite a long time. We need to check whether the health authorities have taken appropriate actions to address the issue,” the LKP lawmaker said.