Friday, September 29, 2023

Can You Take Medicine For The Flu

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Combination Cough And Cold Medicines

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Cough and cold medicines are often used for symptom relief however its important to know there is not enough evidence showing they work well, particularly in children.

Cough and cold medicines should not be given to children under 6. You should ask a doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner for advice before giving cough and cold medicines to children aged 6 to 11 years.

Cough and cold medicines often contain paracetamol, so it is important to check the label to avoid doubling up and taking other medicines that also contain paracetamol.

Influenzinum: The Homeopathic Flu Prevention That Does Not Prevent Flu

To honour Hahnemanns birthday, a National Convention was held yesterday on World Homeopathy Day in New Delhi. The theme of the convention is Enhancing Quality Research in Homeopathy through scientific evidence and rich clinical experiences. They could have done with this new study of Influenzinum 9C, it seems to me. This is a homeopathic remedy made from the current influenza vaccine. Influenzinum 9C, also known as homeopathic flu nosode. It is claimed to:

  • strengthen the body and increase its resistance to the seasons flu viruses,
  • protect against cold & flu symptoms such as body aches, nausea, chills, fever, headaches, sore throat, coughs, and congestion,
  • enforce the flu vaccines action if you have opted for the flu shot,
  • deal with aftereffects of the flu, and
  • alleviate adverse effects of the flu shot.

As these are the claims made by homeopaths , French researchers have tested whether Influenzinum works. They just published the results of the first study examining the effectiveness of Influenzinum against influenza-like illnesses.

The cohort included 3514 patients recruited from 46 general practitioners. After matching, the treated group and the untreated group did not differ on variables collected. Thus Influenzinum preventive therapy did not significantly alter the likelihood of influenza-like illness.

The authors concluded that Influenzinum preventive therapy did not appear effective in preventing influenza-like illness.

Skip The Cough Medicine

The flu can cause a nasty cough that leaves you exhausted and sore. But over-the-counter cough medicines arent effective at quashing coughing, doctors say.

Thats because the doses of cough suppressants in these medications are too low, according to Dr. Richard Irwin, a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, and chairman of the cough guidelines committee for the American College of Chest Physicians .

Typically, they dont work, Whitley-Williams agreed.

Cough medicines that contain opioids like codeine should never be given to children, the Food and Drug Administration warned in early January.

Children should not take any cough or cold medications, said Dr. Nasia Safdar, medical director of infection control at the University of Wisconsin Health. They are not beneficial and might be harmful.

Also, whatever you do, don’t mix products containing acetaminophen like Tylenol or Nyquil or Theraflu. The recommended daily dosage for the entire 24 hours is no more than 4,000 milligrams . Going over that dosage just little can cause severe liver damage.

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Can Tamiflu Capsules Be Crushed Split Or Chewed

Tamiflu capsules shouldnt be crushed or chewed. But in some cases, the capsules can be split open.

If you have trouble taking Tamiflu, your doctor or pharmacist may show you how to open the capsules. Then youll mix the contents of the capsule with a sweet liquid and swallow it.

Your doctor or pharmacist may also prescribe the oral suspension form of Tamiflu for you. This form may be easier for you to take.

You may wonder how Tamiflu compares to other medications that are taken for influenza . Here we look at how Tamiflu and Oscillococcinum are alike and different.

When Are Antiviral Drugs Recommended

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Antiviral drugs are recommended for both treatment and prevention of flu. Antiviral drugs work best when taken within 48 hours of onset of flu symptoms, but they may still offer benefits when taken later. These medications may reduce the duration of flu by one to two days and prevent severe flu complications.

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Just Say No To Antibiotics

Many people believe that antibiotics speed recovery from a cold and the fluand doctors write almost 50 million prescriptions for these and related respiratory infections each year.

Bad idea. Why? Because antibiotics work only against bacterial infectionsand colds and flu are viral.

Taking antibiotics when they arent needed not only unnecessarily exposes you to their side effectsdiarrhea, nausea, and potentially serious allergic reactionsbut also can breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria among the broader population, undermining the effectiveness of the medications when they really are needed.

Doctors know that antibiotics dont help with a cold or the flu. And though efforts are afoot to reduce unnecessary use, many doctors still prescribe the drugs because patients often askand because its faster and easier to write a prescription than it is to explain why it isnt needed.

CRs take If you have a cold or the flu, dont ask for antibiotics, and dont take them even if offered unless your doctor has specific reasons in your case.

Read more about the dangers of overusing antibiotics.

Monitor And Treat Your Symptoms

Foxman says viruses that cause cold, flu, or COVID-19 can affect you in different ways. But they tend to cause some similar symptoms, such as stuffy nose, tiredness, or muscle aches.

It doesnt really matter which virus it is — you can treat mild symptoms the same way. Here are some things you can do:

  • Drink fluids
  • Sleep more
  • Ask your doctor about over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Go to the ER right away if you cant breathe well. Foxman says viruses that cause flu or COVID-19 can damage your lungs. The common cold can lead to big problems another way — the tubes that bring air down to your lungs can narrow. You can get serious asthma-like symptoms. Wheezing can be life-threatening, because if those airways close, thats a problem, she says.

If you or a loved one gets serious symptoms, Foxman says you should head to the hospital. Call first to see if there are any special rules for people who have COVID-19. Heres what to watch for:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Ongoing chest pain or pressure
  • Trouble staying awake

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Dont Drink A Hot Toddy

While alcohol makes people feel drowsy, it doesnt lead to good sleep and can contribute to dehydration.

Resting up and staying hydrated are both needed to help people recover from the flu. What more, booze can make people feel worse.

Flu can often make people feel very sick and that can include making people feel very delirious and something that can affect your thinking is not recommended, said Safdar.

Can You Take Medicine After The Expiration Date

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According to an advanced practice nurse, the answer really depends.

Most of us have several over-the-counter and prescription medicines stored for safe keeping in our bathroom cabinets: prescribed pills from previous injuries and hospital stays, tablets of allergy relief medicine and decongestants, and bottles of aspirin we’ve brought home after getting an unexpected headache at work. Those medications have expiration dates stamped on them, but how important are they? Is it ever safe to take a pain pill that has an expiration date of a week, a month, or even a year ago?

Pharmaceutical expiration dates are not like the expiration dates you will find on fresh vegetables, meats, or dairy products. Unlike perishable foods, many medications do not spoil or “go bad” in the sense that we usually think of when we talk about expiration dates. When it comes to majority of your medications, the expiration is only the last date that the pharmaceutical company can guarantee its potency. “So, they never really recommend taking medicines after expiration dates,” says Kari Sierant, an advanced practice nurse based in New Jersey. “They want to make sure that you get the full potency and safe medication, and that is why they make expiration dates.”

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Paracetamol For Pain And Fever

Paracetamol can be used for adults and children over 1 month for pain and symptoms of fever. 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.

Is Tamiflu Safe For Older People To Take

Yes, its safe. In clinical studies, Tamiflu was given to 1,994 people who were ages 65 years and older, including 1,048 people ages 75 years and older. There were no differences in the safety or effectiveness of Tamiflu in these age groups compared to the safety or effectiveness seen in younger people taking the drug.

If youre over the age of 65 years, and youre interested in taking Tamiflu, talk with your doctor to see if its an option for you.

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Heres When To See A Doctor For Your Cold Or Flu Symptoms

If your symptoms arent improving or are getting worse after a few days, call your primary care provider. An expert can help figure out if you have a cold, flu or an infection that needs antibiotics. Often, you can speak with a nurse who can help you decide if you need an appointment or if they can recommend something over the phone. You may be able to schedule a virtual visit so you can see a health care professional without leaving your home.

Alternatives For Treatment Of Influenza

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Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat the flu include:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every person ages 6 months and older who is healthy enough to get a flu vaccine get one. Getting vaccinated helps to prevent influenza infections and spreading the virus between people.

Most flu vaccines are given by injection . However, the FluMist vaccine is given as a nasal spray. The CDC recommends that you receive a flu vaccine each year. Talk with your doctor for more information about the different types of vaccines, and to schedule a time to get your flu vaccine.

You may wonder how Tamiflu compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Tamiflu and Xofluza are alike and different.

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Have The Flu Antibiotics Arent For You

Most of us have tried and true ways we combat flu symptoms, like sipping chicken soup to fight the sore throat and wrapping up in warm blankets to ward off the chills.

Maybe you call your doctor, too. But before you ask for any medications, read about the difference between bacterial and viral infections. What youve caught will determine your treatment.

Can I Get A Flu Vaccine While Taking Tamiflu

Yes, you possibly can. There are two types of flu vaccines: inactive and live .

You can get an inactive flu vaccine when youre using Tamiflu. However, you cant get the live influenza vaccine while youre taking Tamiflu. This is because the live vaccine may not work as well for you since Tamiflu will be fighting off the virus youre given in the vaccine.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about when the right time is for you to get a flu shot. If you have the flu or youre currently taking Tamiflu, remind your doctor or pharmacist. Theyll be able to recommend whether you should get a flu vaccine.

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What Should You Take For A Sore Throat

Gargle with salt water and drink hot fluids in order to combat a sore throat. You can also use medicated lozenges and pain relievers for this purpose, but make sure to consult with a doctor before using OTC drugs. If the pain is severe, or your throat remains sore after two days, call your doctor its possible you need antibiotics for strep throat.

When Should Antiviral Drugs Be Taken For Treatment

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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.

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Complementary And Alternative Medicine

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes that no complementary health approach has been shown to be helpful for treating influenza .

For relief of symptoms, using a neti pot or other method of saline nasal irrigation may help with congestion. Be sure to use distilled, sterile, or previously-boiled water to make the saline solution.

Honey may help relieve nighttime cough in children. However, it should never be given to children under age 1 due to the risk of botulism.

Timing Your Immunosuppressive Medication With The Covid

You may have worked with your doctor to time your immunosuppressant medication around your first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, if youre off your medication for all three doses of the vaccine, you may be off it for a long period of time. The risks of this could outweigh the benefits of pausing your medication for certain patients.

The circumstance differs by the individual patient if somebody is thinking about starting an immunosuppressant or restarting an immunosuppressant, its generally advisable to wait two weeks until after the vaccination to restart that medication, says Paul J. Maglione, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and a pulmonary physician at Boston Medical Center. For those who are already on an immunosuppressant, this is a challenging question and it really should be individualized between the patient and the doctor.

Certain immunosuppressive medications can reduce the efficacy of the vaccine, which is a major reason why the third vaccine dose has been recommended for those who are on significant immunosuppressive medications. However, just because youre on immunosuppressive medications doesnt mean that the vaccine isnt going to work. You may simply need that third dose for adequate protection.

Of course, the definition of immunocompromised can vary widely, and your doctor will have insight on timing of medications and vaccines for your particular condition.

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How Is The Flu Virus Spread

The flu virus is spread by respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing, talking, or touching. Experts say that the flu can be spread from person to person up to 6 feet away.

If you have the flu, you can spread it during the time when youre contagious, which starts 1 day before symptoms and lasts for 5 to 7 days after starting to feel sick. This means that you can spread the flu virus even before you are sick and also during the illness.

The best way to prevent the flu and lower the chance of having serious symptoms is to get the flu vaccine every year.

Will Antibiotics Help The Flu

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Antibiotics have no effect on the flu. The drugs wont relieve your symptoms, reduce the length of your illness or boost your immunity to other germs. Sure, you may feel better after taking antibiotics, for a simple reason: You were already on the road to recovery. We all tend to seek treatment when our symptoms are at their peak. Over the next few days, as the virus runs its course, you start to feel better. But that would have happened even without medication.

Sometimes, antibiotics can actually make you feel worse. Antibiotics are generally quite safe, but they do carry some risk, says Daniel Knecht, MD, MBA, VP of clinical strategy and policy for Aetna. They may cause diarrhea, allergic reactions and various other side effects. Its something to keep in mind if youre tempted to take unnecessary antibiotics just in case.

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Side Effects In Children

During studies, vomiting was one of the most common side effects seen in children ages 2 weeks to 1 year. In this age group, 9% of children taking Tamiflu had vomiting. In children ages 1 year to 12 years, 16% of children had vomiting while taking Tamiflu. In the same age group, vomiting occurred in 8% of children taking a placebo .

If your child is vomiting while theyre taking Tamiflu, its important to make sure they stay hydrated and receive electrolytes during treatment.

Vomiting may lead to dehydration , which may be serious if not treated. You should call your doctor right away if your child has any of the following symptoms, which may indicate dehydration:

  • a dry mouth
  • no urination for 12 hours or urine that appears dark in color

Other common side effects seen in children taking Tamiflu can include diarrhea and diaper rash.

Is Ginseng Safe To Take While Breastfeeding

Ginseng is a blood thinner, so its not recommended for people who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Morais notes that, while some types of ginseng are more dangerous than others, there is limited evidence on the amount of ginseng that is passed on to breastmilk, so its best to generally avoid ginseng during breastfeeding.

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Is Tamiflu Available Over The Counter

Tamiflu isnt currently available to purchase over the counter . However, one drug manufacturer is currently working with the Food and Drug Administration to make Tamiflu available OTC.

The FDA has specific requirements that must be met before a drug can be sold OTC. This includes testing to make sure the drug can be purchased and used safely without a prescription. While the drug manufacturer works on meeting those requirements, Tamiflu is only available by prescription. It could be several years before Tamiflu is available to purchase over the counter.

The Tamiflu dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • whether youre using Tamiflu to either treat or prevent influenza
  • your age
  • the form of Tamiflu you take
  • other medical conditions you may have

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

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