Compare Tamiflu vs. Rapivab

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.


Tamiflu (oseltamivir)

Prescription only

Rapivab (peramivir)

Prescription only
Treats and prevents the flu.

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is effective at treating the flu virus, but can cause stomach side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Reduces the symptoms of the flu.

Rapivab (peramivir) can reduce flu symptoms in adults, but it needs to be given within two days of the flu starting or it won't work.

  • On average, Tamiflu (oseltamivir) reduces symptoms of the flu by 1.3 days.
  • The pill form is available as a generic.
  • The brand is available in 2 different forms: capsule and liquid.
  • Can be used for treatment in children 2 weeks of age and older.
  • Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is taken for a short period of time to treat the flu: twice a day for 5 days.
  • Rapivab (peramivir) can shorten the amount of time you have flu symptoms by about 1 day.
  • Rapivab (peramivir) is an option for people who cannot take flu medications by mouth (like Tamiflu) or by inhalation (like Relenza).
  • Rapivab (peramivir) is a single-dose treatment so you only need to get it once.
  • Rapivab (peramivir) can be lifesaving in patients with other health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.
  • Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is not a substitute for the annual flu shot.
  • Not recommended for people with kidney problems.
  • Must be taken within 2 days of contact with an infected person, or signs of flu symptoms for Tamiflu (oseltamivir) to be effective.
  • If you have HIV, you need to be on antiviral treatment at the same time as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) to decrease the chances of drug resistance by the HIV virus.
  • Rapivab (peramivir) is not a take home medication. Your doctor must administer it to you.
  • If you have had flu symptoms for more than 2 days, Rapivab (peramivir) will not work well for you.
  • Like other flu medications, Rapivab (peramivir) can in some cases cause sudden confusion, hallucinations, or unusual behavior.
  • Rarely, Rapivab (peramivir) can cause serious skin problems. Tell your doctor right away if your skin is red, swollen, blistered or peeling.
Used for
  • Flu virus types A and B
  • Flu virus types A and B prevention
  • Bird flu
  • Bird flu prevention
  • Flu treatment
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
See more detailed side effects
4possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Lower white blood cell count
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Abnormal liver function test
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Delirium and abnormal behavior
    • Children
  • Severe skin reactions
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Tamiflu (oseltamivir)
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Tamiflu (oseltamivir)
  • Reaction with vaccines
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fructose intolerance
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Interference with nasal flu vaccine
  • Unusual behavior
  • Allergic skin reactions
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Rapivab (peramivir)
  • Kidney problems
    • Poor kidney function
See more detailed risks and warnings