Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Best Medicine To Relieve Flu Symptoms

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What Are The Recommended Antiviral Drugs For Children

Cold & Flu Treatments : How to Ease Cold Symptoms

At the first sign of flu symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether antiviral drugs might benefit your child. These flu drugs can help a child get better sooner and may prevent serious flu complications.

Antivirals work best when taken during the first two days of illness. The first dose should be taken within 48 hours of when symptoms started.

You Can’t Treat The Virus With Otc

Dr. Landon, MD wrote: “The most important thing to know about using over-the-counter medications to treat COVID-19 is that none of these common drugstore products are actually going to treat the virus itself. But these medications can certainly make you feel a whole lot more comfortable when you’re sick.”

What About Herbal Remedies

Every flu season, people ask their pharmacists if things like vitamin C, echinacea, or probiotics will prevent them from getting sick. Sadly, most of the claims about these products arent supported by much evidence.

One product said to help prevent the flu is Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy made from wild duck heart and liver extracts. Research shows there is no difference between taking Oscillococcinum and a placebo pill .

Another commonly asked about product is echinacea, which is said to boost your immune system. The research available focuses on if it wards off the common cold, but those studies show echinacea doesnt protect you any better than a placebo.

Two natural remedies that may be helpful if you have the flu are elderberry syrup and honey. In a small study, people who took elderberry syrup felt better 4 days earlier than those who didnt. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as well as children under 18 should avoid this product because we dont know if its safe for them to use it. As for honey, it is just as effective at quieting a cough as dextromethorphan. Honey should never be given to infants under 1 year old, though, and if you have diabetes, it could raise your blood sugar levels.

Always ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if taking herbal supplements is OK. They have side effects and can interact with other medications. To read more in depth about herbal treatments and the flu, click here.

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Who Should Get An Annual Flu Shot

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following groups receive an annual flu vaccine shot between November and February :

  • All people aged six months and older.

It is especially important for certain individuals at high risk of flu complications and those who come in contact with people at high risk of complications to receive the flu vaccine. These people at high risk include:

  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver disorders and chronic lung diseases.
  • People with a weakened immune system, for example, people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, or chronic steroid users.
  • Household members and caregivers of patients at risk of complications from the flu.
  • Women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season .
  • Healthcare workers who come into close contact with patients in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare facilities.
  • Infants and children ages six months through 18 years who are taking long-term aspirin therapy. This puts these individuals at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after flu infection.
  • American Indians/Alaska natives.
  • People who have close contact with children under five years of age for example, people who live with children, nannies and providers of daycare services.
  • People who are morbidly obese .

Can The Doctor Give You Something For The Flu

Aspirin Complex Cold &  Flu display. Top view of Bayer ...

Because of the prevalence of COVID-19 , doctors are encouraging patients to be even more vigilant about flu-like symptoms this year. This year, COVID-19 throws us all a curveball, Dr. Wilk says. Because influenza and COVID-19 present with nearly identical symptoms, its important for anyone with flu-like symptomsfever, chills, headache, muscle aches, cough, feeling unwell and othersto contact their primary care provider to be tested for the flu and for COVID-19 and not wait it out at home.

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Whats The Best Flu Medicine

Since the flu is a virus, rest and fluids are usually the first line of defensenot antibiotics. The flu is not curable however, available medications can shorten the duration of symptoms, says Elizabeth Bald, Pharm.D., an assistant professor in the department of pharmacotherapy at the University of Utah.

If youre diagnosed with the flu, chances are that your healthcare providers treatment plan will only recommend that you drink plenty of water and stay in bed. However, some over-the-counter and prescription medications can alleviate symptoms.

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Ibuprofen For Pain And Fever

Ibuprofen can be given for pain and symptoms of fever in adults and children of 3 months and over, according to their weight. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.

Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma, unless advised by your doctor.

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What Treatment Options Are Safe During Pregnancy

According to the Cleveland Clinic, natural remedies like saline nasal drops and warm salt-water gargling are ideal cold and flu treatments during pregnancy.

Vicks VapoRub and cough drops are also considered safe during pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should check with their healthcare provider before taking any drug. While no medication can be considered 100 percent safe for pregnant women, the Cleveland Clinic lists the following as among those generally considered to be okay:

Note: Do not take the sustained action or multisymptom forms of these drugs.

As for the decongestant pseudoephedrine, the Cleveland Clinic recommends that pregnant women avoid it in the first trimester , while a review published in the journal American Family Physician concluded that women should use it only sparingly later in pregnancy.

For pregnant women with the flu, oseltamivir is the preferred medication because it has the best safety and efficacy record, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends that pregnant women with a fever take acetominophen and contact their doctors immediately.

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Can I Take Acetaminophen While Pregnant

Cough medicine fails to treat flu related cough symptoms

Overall, acetaminophen is safe to take while pregnant, and it’s the most common pain reliever that most doctors allow pregnant women to take when they experience common aches and pains. If you are allergic to acetaminophen or have liver problems, do not take it. Always ask your doctor if taking acetaminophen is safe for you during your pregnancy. If they say it’s ok to take, always take as little as possible, only when needed, and for as short an amount of time as possible. Taking it daily for long periods of time, usually for a period of about 28 days or longer, may increase the risk of your baby developing mild developmental issues like ADHD. Minor aches and pains like headaches, backache, and muscle pain are normal during pregnancy. Taking acetaminophen is generally safe, as long as your doctor gives you the all clear to do so beforehand.

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Medications For Congestion And Runny Nose

When youre sick with the flu, you can also have a runny nose, stuffy nose, or both. If your nose is running constantly, you may think antihistamines will help most because they dry up extra fluid in the eyes, nose, and throat. While allergy sufferers find great relief from these products, taking them when youre sick with a viral infection might not be very helpful for your symptoms, especially if you take them for more than 2 days.

Several different antihistamines are available over the counter. Some of these, such as , cause a lot of side effects like drowsiness and dry mouth while not providing much relief. These side effects can be more intense if youre over 65, making you more likely to trip and fall.

The two most common OTC nasal decongestants are and . Pseudoephedrine, which is kept behind the pharmacy counter, is the more effective option of the two. Feeling jittery or having trouble sleeping are common side effects from these medications. Your nose might also feel dry while using them, so its a good idea to have some saline spray on hand to help with that side effect. Be careful with nasal decongestants if you have high blood pressure, as they can raise your blood pressure even if its controlled by medication.

What Are Other Ways To Treat And Prevent The Flu

Antiviral prescription medicines and an annual flu vaccine are available for treating and preventing the flu.

Prescription anti-flu medicines include amantadine , rimantadine , zanamivir and oseltamivir . These drugs do not cure the flu, but they can make the symptoms milder and make you feel better more quickly. They are only effective when used in the first 48 hours of flu-like symptoms.

These drugs are not needed for healthy people who get the flu. They are usually reserved for people who are very sick with the flu or those who are at risk of complications from the flu, such as people with long-term chronic medical conditions or older age.

Flu vaccine . Although there is currently no vaccine against the common cold, there is a vaccine to prevent the flu. The vaccine is available by both shot and nasal spray. It works by exposing the immune system to the viruses. The body responds by building antibodies against the flu. The flu shot contains dead flu viruses. The nasal spray contains live, but weakened, flu viruses. The nasal spray is only approved for healthy children and adults two to 49 years old and who are not pregnant.

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Treating The Cold Or Flu When You Have Covid

By Keri Wiginton

Its possible to catch more than one respiratory virus at the same time. That means you could get a cold or the flu along with COVID-19. But so far, these coinfections havent happened enough for scientists to study them very much. Experts think thats due to all the physical distancing and other safety measures we took to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Theres some evidence your immune system might protect you from viral coinfections. But we need more research to know if thatll happen with COVID-19.

Ellen Foxman, MD, PhD, an immunobiologist with Yale Medicine and assistant professor of laboratory medicine and immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, says it doesnt matter if you get the rhinovirus — the main cause of the common cold — or the viruses that cause flu or COVID-19.

Within a few days, your body turns on a really rapid antiviral defense system that protects against all viruses.

That means your odds of a second virus most likely go down shortly after you get the first one.

There was a huge drop in cold and flu illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, that lowered the chances of coinfections. Though, Foxman says this year might be different. If schools and workplaces reopen and there is less use of masks and social distancing, we are likely to see more flu, and this may include some flu and COVID-19 coinfections.

If you do get sick, here are some expert tips on how to get well.

Can Pregnant People Take Antiviral Drugs

The best home remedies for cold and flu

Yes. Oral oseltamivir is recommended for treatment of pregnant people with flu because compared to other recommended antiviral medications, it has the most studies available to suggest that it is safe and beneficial during pregnancy. Baloxavir is not recommended for pregnant people or while breastfeeding, as there are no available efficacy or safety data.

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Medications For Fever And Aches

Some of the first symptoms you might experience from the flu are a fever, sore throat, and terrible muscle aches. Many people describe the feeling as being hit by a truck. Two OTC medications considered to be first-choice for these symptoms are acetaminophen and ibuprofen. So which one should you have on hand during flu season just in case?

Most healthcare providers would agree that these two medications work equally well for a fever or muscle aches. Some studies show ibuprofen works a little bit better than acetaminophen. But if asked, many providers and pharmacists will tell you to alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen when you have the flu. Separate the medications by about 4 hours from each other to keep the fever and aches at a minimum when they are at their worst.

Side effects of the OTC versions of acetaminophen and ibuprofen are pretty minimal. The most common effect is a little bit of upset stomach or indigestion. If this happens to you, try to take your dose with something to eat, even if its just a light snack.

Just like with any medications, some people should be careful taking these drugs. For more detailed information on each, please visit our pages on acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Please speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if youre not sure if they are safe for you to take.

Which Flu Treatment Should I Take To Lower My Fever And Body Aches

Children under 19 should avoid aspirin. Acetaminophen or medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen are over-the-counter options for fever and pain relief. Each medication has risks. Check with your doctor or pharmacist as to which medication may be suitable for you.

Be careful not to overdose! These drugs are often mixed in with other multi-symptom cold and flu remedies you may also be taking. They may also be ingredients in other prescription medicines you may be taking. Your pharmacist can help you check for drug ingredients and interactions.

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Which Flu Treatment Is Best For My Sore Throat

Drinking lots of fluids and using salt water gargles can often be helpful for easing the pain of a sore throat. Over-the-counter pain relievers and medicated lozenges and gargles can also temporarily soothe a sore throat. Get your doctor’s approval before using any medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and don’t use lozenges or gargles for more than a few days. Call your doctor if your throat is still sore after a couple of days or if it is severe.The medications could mask signs of strep throat, a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.

Colds And Flu: Prevention And Treatment Tips

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I always like to start by saying, the flu shot is your best shot at preventing an influenza infection. While its best to get immunized early in the flu season, we often continue to recommend getting the flu vaccine well into May. Call you doctors office, go to your local pharmacy, or use the CDCs Vaccine Finder to locate the vaccine available in your zip code. Remember, if you have a baby, they will need two doses , and if your child is under the age of nine and they have never had the flu vaccine before, theyll need two doses this year, too!

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When Should Antiviral Drugs Be Taken For Treatment

Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be beneficial, especially if the sick person is at higher risk of serious flu complications or is in the hospital with more severe illness. Follow instructions for taking these drugs.

What Are Flu Antiviral Drugs

Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from a health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.

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Is There Medication For The Flu

The CDC recommends prompt medical attention for people who get the flu and are at high risk of developing complications, such as adults who are 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and cancer.

For people in these groups, treatment may include antiviral medications these prescription drugs are used to battle influenza viruses.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the following antivirals to treat flu:

  • Tamiflu is available as a liquid or a capsule, and it can be prescribed for infants who are least 14 days old, children, and adults.
  • Relenza is available as a powder that is inhaled, and it can be prescribed for people who are 7 and older.
  • Rapivab is given intravenously, and it can be prescribed for people who are 2 and older.
  • Xofluza is available as a single-dose pill that can be prescribed for people who are 12 and older.

Antiviral medications might shorten the duration of symptoms somewhat, but in order for them to be effective, they need to be started in the first two days of illness, says Dr. Ohl.

The CDC stresses that these drugs are a second line of defense against the flu: A flu vaccine remains the best way to stay healthy.

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