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Tamiflu approved for children 2 weeks and up

By AP staffWASHINGTON -- Children as young as 2 weeks old can take Roche's Tamiflu for flu symptoms, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The FDA approved the drug for babies who have had had flu symptoms for no more than two days. Regulators stressed that the drug is not approved as a preventive measure against flu in children that young. It is also not approved to treat flu in children younger than 2 weeks old.

The FDA had already approved the drug for adults and children ages 1 and older who have shown flu symptoms for no longer than two days.

The agency said doctors must calculate the dosing for Tamiflu in patients younger than 1 based on their exact weight. These children should receive 3 milligrams of Tamiflu per kilogram twice daily for five days.

Tamiflu is distributed by Roche's South San Franscisco-based unit, Genentech.