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.
Can Children Take Antiviral Drugs
Yes, though this varies by medication. Oseltamivir is recommended by CDC for treatment of flu in children beginning from birth and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends oseltamivir for treatment of flu in children 2 weeks old or older. Zanamivir is approved for early treatment of flu in people 7 years and older, though it is not recommended for use in children with underlying respiratory disease, including asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Peramivir is recommended for early treatment in people 2 years and older. Baloxavir is approved for early treatment of flu in people 12 years and older.
If your childs health care provider prescribes oseltamivir capsules for your child and your child cannot swallow capsules, the prescribed capsules may be opened, mixed with a thick sweetened liquid, and given that way. Learn more here.
Which Antiviral Drugs Are Recommended For Both Treatment And Prevention Of The Flu
The CDC recommends the antiviral drugs baloxavir marboxil , oseltamivir , and zanamivir for both flu prevention and treatment..
Baloxavir marboxil is taken orally and is approved for use in treatment of children 12 years of age and older.
Oseltamivir, which is taken by mouth, is approved for treating flu in those over 2 weeks of age and preventing flu in people one year of age and older.
Peramivir, given in one intravenous dose, is approved for people over the age of 2 for treatment only.
Zanamivir is approved for treating flu in people 7 years and older and for preventing flu in people 5 years and older. Relenza is inhaled through the mouth.
All four antivirals are most effective when given within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, although they may still prevent severe flu complications when given more than 48 hours after symptoms appear.
For in-depth information, see WebMD’s Flu Prevention Strategies.
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What Are The Recommended Antiviral Drugs For Children
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.
Best Cold Medicine For Runny Nose
A runny nose is how the body reacts to the inflammation and irritation that a cold virus is causing in the nasal passages.
If you take a decongestant for a runny nose, your symptoms may get better if you have congestion. But, a decongestant may cause undesirable effects as well, such as raising your blood pressure or making your nose and throat feel too dry.
Thats why diphenhydramine might be better for drying up a runny nose if you do not feel too congested. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, which means it reduces your bodys natural reaction to irritants and pathogens, which may help if your runny nose is because your body is releasing histamines. Benadryl also might make you drowsy, which is why its best to take this medication at bedtime.
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How Can I Help My Child
If your child gets the flu:
- Offer plenty of liquids. Fever and appetite loss are common with the flu, and can lead to dehydration.
- Encourage your child to rest in bed or on the couch with a supply of magazines, books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie.
- Dress your child in layers that are easy to add and remove during bouts of chills or fever.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and aches.
- You can give over-the-counter cough or cold medicines to children over 6 years old if your doctor says it’s OK. Follow the package instructions carefully so you give the right amount. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 years old because they can cause bad reactions.
- Running a cool-mist humidifier can help relieve coughs and runny or stuffy noses. Clean it after each use or at least once a day.
- Honey can help loosen a stubborn cough in children older than 12 months of age. Give 12 teaspoons of honey at night. Do not give honey to children under 12 months old.
- For a stuffy nose:
- For babies: Put a few drops of saline into the nose, then gently suction the mucus out with a bulb syringe. Do this no more than 23 times a day so that the inside of your baby’s nose does not get swollen or sore.
- For older kids: Give 2 sprays of saline nose spray 3 times a day.
If your doctor prescribes medicine to ease symptoms, call the pharmacist before you go to pick it up. In a severe flu season, some pharmacies might have trouble keeping the medicines in stock.
- feel better
Use Of Antiviral Medications To Treat Influenza
Outbreaks of influenza occur every year and typically reach epidemic levels at some part of the season. Usually, uncomplicated influenza gets better with or without antiviral treatment but may cause substantial discomfort and limit activities while it lasts.
Many people with uncomplicated influenza use over-the-counter medicines, get rest, and take plenty of fluids to lessen their symptoms. Antiviral drugs available by prescription can reduce the time it takes for symptoms to improve, and some are also used in selected situations to reduce the chance of illness in people exposed to influenza virus. Prompt medical evaluation is important for early treatment of influenza as the antiviral drugs may provide the most benefit for patients who initiate therapy within 48 hours of symptom onset.
Symptoms of influenza may mimic other infections which require different treatment . It is important to be evaluated by a healthcare provider, if symptoms are severe or worsening or if there is an underlying chronic medical condition. Laboratory tests can help detect influenza virus. However, a negative test does not always rule out the possibility of an influenza virus infection, and positive tests do not exclude the possibility of other illnesses or take the place of clinical evaluation.
For more information and public health recommendations about circulating influenza virus, including resistance patterns for specific drugs, go to Flu.gov or to the CDC and WHO websites.
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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.
Fast Facts On Cough And Cold Medications:
Here are some key points about cough and cold medications. More detail is in the main article.
- A wide array of over-the-counter medication is available for coughs and colds.
- Combined treatments target more than one symptom at a time.
- It is important to know which ingredients do what, to avoid making symptoms worse.
- Some medications can interact or have adverse effects, so it is important to take safety precautions and read the instructions carefully.
One study has suggested that fewer than 40 percent of consumers are familiar with the most common active ingredients in cough, cold, and flu remedies, and only 43 percent ask the pharmacist for help.
A cold or seasonal flu can have a wide range of symptoms, so it is important to treat the right ones. For example, a person with a runny nose and sore throat should not use medications that include an ingredient to control coughs. A cough helps remove mucus from the throat.
Consumers must make sure they choose medications that treat only the symptoms that they have and avoid taking medications they do not need. Understanding the different active ingredients and which symptoms they treat can help find the most suitable OTC treatment.
Analgesics: These include acetaminophen and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium.
: These are for nose and chest congestion. Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are examples.
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What If My Child Has The Flu And Covid
Its rare for someone to have both of these illnesses at the same time, but it is possible. Most of the treatment strategies for COVID-19 symptoms are the same as for the flu. The one big difference with COVID-19, however, is that you should try to keep anyone with COVID-19 isolated at home to avoid spreading this disease to others.
Keep anyone with COVID-19 in a separate room if possible, and make sure you both wear a mask. Dont share dishes or eating utensils. And make an extra effort to keep your home clean, opening windows if possible for ventilation and disinfecting surfaces like tables and countertops as well as commonly touched objects like doorknobs, faucets and light switches.
Parents should always think twice before giving a child medication, as certain amounts or types of medicines can be fatal to children if not given properly.
Flu Treatment #: Stay Hydrated
Experts at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City recommend that you drink lots of fluids. When you have a fever and are fighting a virus, you need plenty of fluids to help your body fight the infection and to replace fluids lost from sweating and any vomiting or diarrhea you may have. Water is best but drink whatever you fancy and plenty of it. Hot water with lemon and honey and herbal teas containing ginger, berries or Echinacea are old favorites for many.
COMMON FLU SYMPTOMS
If youve been in contact with someone with the flu virus, you may not notice the effects for a few days. Then you start to feel a little achy, or sneezy, or you may wake up in the morning feeling like youve been beaten up. According to the Centers for Disease Control , you may get one of several of these symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
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Try To Prevent The Flu From Spreading To Other Household Members
If you have the flu, chances are you dont want anyone else to feel as miserable as you do right now. But since you need to stay home, your family or household members are at a higher risk for getting sick. So, take steps to protect them as best you can:
- Keep your distance
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as countertops, door knobs or remote controls
Best Cold Medicine For Stuffy Nose
A stuffy nose can leave you feeling like youre struggling to take in fresh air. It can also linger in your sinuses even after other symptoms fade.
To relieve a stuffy nose, try a decongestant with the active ingredient pseudoephedrine . It helps at the level of the small blood vessels in your nasal passageways to reduce the swelling and dry up the mucus that your body produces, allowing you to breathe a little easier.
Phenylephrine is another decongestant available for stuffy nose.
However, its not advisable to take either of these two decongestants more than four times a day.
triggered by inflammation in your body. Treating the inflammation can bring down your pain levels and soothe discomfort.
Fever and aches can be eased by taking ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug , as is naproxen. Although not an NSAID, acetaminophen is another pain reliever that can help ease fever and aches.
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Treatment: What You Need To Know
- Can flu be treated?Yes. There are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.
- What are flu antiviral drugs? Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu in your respiratory tract. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from your doctor or health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
Treating Your Childs Flu Symptoms At Home
Since caring for a child with the flu can often be a bit overwhelming, its important for parents to brush up on the dos and donts of treating their kids symptoms at home.
When your child gets the flu, its certainly no fun. And parents often worry about how to safely treat their childs flu symptoms at home. It can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which medications are best, if he is staying hydrated enough and when his fever may be too high.
When it comes to caring for a child at home who is fighting the flu, its not just about which medicines to take, explained Stephanie M. Jernigan, MD, Co-Chief of Medicine and Campus Medical Director at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital. Parents should also be aware of whether their child is drinking enough fluids and if his fever spikes to dangerous levels.
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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.
What About Children
Products containing dextromethorphan should not be given to children under 4 years of age.
Robitussin DM can be used in children over the age of 2 years, but it should only be used under pediatricianâs supervision until the age of 6 years.
OTC medications do not need a prescription, but excessive use can lead to complications. An overdose can be fatal. Remember to keep all medicines away from children.
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What Not To Eat
Generally, avoid dairy, fibrous foods, and anything fatty or spicy.
- Dairy: Not everyone has a problem with milk when they have the stomach flu, but it could be hard to digest and can aggravate gas and diarrhea.
- Fiber: You dont need the extra fiber if your bowels are loose.
- Grease: Avoid greasy and salty foods like bacon.
- Spices: Stay away from tomato-based dishes, curries, and chili sauces.
Acupressure has been shown to be effective in treating some types of nausea. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center suggests finding pressure point P-6 by measuring the width of three fingers down from the bottom of your palm.
Press below that width with your thumb and youll feel a sensitive spot between two tendons. Gently massage with your thumb for two or three minutes.
Sea-Bands are a product worn on the wrists. These can be useful in treating nausea if the P-6 acupressure point gives you relief.
Remedies For Little Ones
As terrible as it is to get the stomach flu yourself, it is even harder to watch your child go through it. If your infants symptoms havent subsided in a day or two, take them to the doctor.
Their doctor can make sure your child is on their way to recovery without any complications. They can also check to make sure there are no other causes for their symptoms.
Encouraging children to continue to take sips of water to replace lost fluids is important to prevent dehydration. All infants and toddlers can also drink an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte.
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Should I Still Get A Flu Vaccine
Yes. Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine. While flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, a flu vaccine is best way to help prevent seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications. Everyone 6 months and older should receive a flu vaccine every year. Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense that can be used to treat flu if you get sick.
Learn How To Distinguish Covid
As COVID-19 remains prevalent in the U.S. and our community, many people have questions about the differences between the cold, the flu and the coronavirus how to know which of these viruses you have and when to seek medical attention. Although the cold, the flu and COVID-19 viruses have many similarities, there are also some important differences you need to know. Keep reading for more information.
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