Friday, September 29, 2023

Flu Medicine For Heart Patients

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Why Am I At Greater Risk Of Serious Flu Complications

Study: Flu patients much more likely to suffer heart attack

Your medical condition makes it more likely that you will get complications from the flu, like pneumonia. The flu also can make long-term health problems worse, even if they are well managed. People with asthma or chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of these conditions. Diabetes can make the immune system less able to fight the flu. Also, illness can raise blood sugar levels.

A Heart Patients Guide To Surviving Flu Season

by Health Writer

If youre one of the more than 126.9 million Americans with heart disease, flu season is more than a nuisanceits a legit medical concern.

Flu season is dangerous for those with heart disease because these seasonal bouts of sickness can make underlying heart issues worse. Having the flu gives you kind of a one-two punch of having respiratory troubles that can spur on other infections, even bacterial pneumonia, that can put additional hardship on the heart, and also lead to systemic body inflammation, says Nicholas Ruthmann, M.D., M.P.H., a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.

Heart Disease Makes Flu More Risky

If you have heart disease, you are more likely to develop flu-related health complications, including:

  • Bronchitis

  • Pneumonia

  • Stroke

Research shows that nearly half of all adults hospitalized for the flu have heart disease. A recent study found that 1 in 8 patients hospitalized with the flu experienced serious heart complications, including blood clots, high blood pressure and heart damage.

Having a viral infection like the flu means your body including your heart must work harder to help you get better. The added stress can weaken the cardiovascular system. Having the flu is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. The risk of having a first heart attack is six times higher within a week after a flu infection.

Recommended Reading: Can Flu Cause Congestive Heart Failure

What Antiviral Drugs Are Recommended

There are two antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC and approved by the FDA for flu treatment.These are oseltamivir and zanamivir . Tamiflu® comes as apill or liquid, and Relenza® is an inhaled powder. These drugs have been in use since 1999. There are nogeneric flu antiviral drugs.

  • People younger than 19 years of age on longtermaspirin therapy
  • People with chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease
  • People with weakened immune systems dueto disease or medication

Other people at high risk from the flu:

  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeksfrom end of pregnancy
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives

Keep Taking Your Heart Medications

Flu vaccine linked to lower death risk for heart failure ...

Its important to continue your heart health treatment during the flu, Dr. Juneman says. During flu season, make sure you have at least a two-week supply of all your heart medications. That way you dont have to worry about running out of your medications or running out to pick them up when you should be home resting.

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Other Preventive Actions For People With Heart Disease Or History Of Stroke

Like everyone else, in addition to getting a flu shot, people with heart disease or who have had a stroke should take everyday preventive actions, including avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs, and washing hands often.

Specific Health Actions for People with Heart Disease or History of Stroke

  • Plan ahead to maintain sufficient supplies of your regular medications for chronic medical conditions .
  • Do not stop taking your regular medications without first consulting your health care provider, especially in the event that you become sick with flu or another respiratory infection.
  • People with heart failure should be alert to changes in their breathing and should promptly report changes to their health care provider.

Cough And Cold Medications

Many of these medications contain NSAIDs to relieve pain. They also often have in them, which can make your heart disease worse in these ways:

Ask your doctor about other ways to ease symptoms of cold, flu, or sinus problems.

Read Also: How Long Does The Flu Vaccine Protect You

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Antiviral Drugs

Some side effects have been associated with the use of influenza antiviral drugs, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, runny or stuffy nose, cough,diarrhea, headache and some behavioral side effects. These are uncommon. Your doctor can give you more information about these drugs or you can check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food and DrugAdministration websites.

American Heart Association News Stories

Heart complications seen among 1 in 8 with severe flu

American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Statements, conclusions, accuracy and reliability of studies published in American Heart Association scientific journals or presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the American Heart Associations official guidance, policies or positions.

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, for individuals, media outlets, and non-commercial education and awareness efforts to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News.

Other uses, including educational products or services sold for profit, must comply with the American Heart Associations Copyright Permission Guidelines. See full terms of use. These stories may not be used to promote or endorse a commercial product or service.

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/6warning Signs For Those Who Have Pre

Flu may trigger certain symptoms that can be concerning and prove fatal if left untreated. Following are some of the emergency signs people with heart diseases should be mindful of and in case of occurrence, must seek immediate medical attention.

– Shortness of breath and chest pain

– Difficulty in breathing

The Connection Between Heart Attacks And The Flu

It’s well-known that the flu can lead to significant respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia, bronchitis and bacterial infection of the lungs. The virus’ effects on the heart have historically been harder to parse out, in part because many patients already have a known predisposition to cardiac events and in part because the cardiac event often occurs weeks after the onset of the flu.

But here’s what recent research has shown:

  • Cardiovascular deaths and influenza epidemics spike around the same time.
  • Patients are six times more likely to experience a heart attack the week after influenza infection than they are at any point during the year prior or the year after the infection.
  • In one study looking at 336,000 hospital admissions for flu, 11.5% experienced a serious cardiac event.
  • Another study looking at 90,000 lab-confirmed influenza infections showed a strikingly similar rate of 11.7% experiencing an acute cardiovascular event.
  • One in eight patients, or 12.5%, admitted to the hospital with influenza experienced a cardiovascular event, with 31% of those requiring intensive care and 7% dying as a result of the event, another study found.

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Are You Eligible For A Free Nhs Flu Vaccination

You may be entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination from your GP or local pharmacist. Find out if you are eligible today.

Swine flu is caused by a particular strain of influenza A virus which is called H1N1v. It seems to affect children and young adults more commonly than those over the age of 60 years. Most people with this type of flu have a mild flu-like illness. You are more likely to have sickness and/or diarrhoea with this type of flu.

Note: bird flu is different and is more serious.

Influenza and Flu-like Illness

  • Headache.
  • Feeling sick .

The illness caused by the influenza virus tends to be worse than illnesses caused by other viruses which cause a flu-like illness. Even if you are young and fit, flu can make you ill enough to need to go to bed.

Common flu symptoms in babies and young children include fever, sweats, a cough, sore throat, sneezing, difficulty in breathing, lack of energy and poor feeding. Some young children with flu may have a febrile convulsion. A febrile convulsion is a fit that occurs in some children with a fever.

Typically, symptoms are at their worst after 1-2 days. Then they usually gradually ease over several days. An irritating cough may persist for a week or so after other symptoms have gone. Most people recover completely within 2-7 days.

Heart Conditions Increase Risk Of Complications

Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine

Commonly referred to as “the flu”, influenza is a viral infection which attacks the lungs and major breathing passages. While this infection typically causes a fever and sometimes pneumonia, it can also be fatal. Normally, our bodies are able to fight off the infection and return us to normal in a few days. But some groups of people are at higher risk for major health problems resulting from the flu.

Acute infections, like influenza, negatively affect cardiac function, says Pauley physician, Antonio Abbate, M.D., Ph.D. And patients with heart disease who become ill are at high risk.

This is because viral infections make our bodies work much harder, especially our hearts. As the body is fighting off the infection, it releases chemicals which help fight off infection, but also cause inflammation and higher blood pressure. Both of which are bad news for those with heart problems. New data suggests the risk of heart attack nearly doubles in the week following an infection like that from the flu.

As Dr. Abbate describes it, this is because chronic conditions like heart failure weaken the immune system. This means that people with weaker hearts might also have weaker immune systems, putting them at risk of complications from any sort of viral infection.

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How Should I Take Tamiflu

Take Tamiflu exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Start taking Tamiflu as soon as possible after flu symptoms appear, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose.

Take the capsule with a full glass of water.

Shake the oral suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .

Tamiflu may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

To treat flu symptoms: Take Tamiflu every 12 hours for 5 days.

To prevent flu symptoms: Take Tamiflu every 24 hours for 10 days or as prescribed. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Store capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Store liquid medicine in the refrigerator but do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 17 days.

The liquid may also be stored at cool room temperature for up to 10 days

Pay Attention To Emergency Signs

The flu can trigger heart issues even among healthy people. Consider this: The risk of heart attack can be six times higher within a week of getting the flu, according to a 2018 study. This is just another reason not to blow off flu symptoms and act if you are experiencing a fever or cough that improves then suddenly worsens, ongoing dizziness or confusion, persistent pressure or pain in your chest or abdomen, or severe muscle pain, weakness or unsteadiness.

Dr. Juneman also recommends contacting your doctor if you develop symptoms of low blood pressure or fevers over 103 that dont respond to OTC medications.

Also Check: Do You Need A Flu Shot Every Year

The Connection Between Heart Disease And Flu

Influenza virus, also known as flu, may not be front-of-mind since the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you have heart disease or a history of stroke, protecting yourself from flu should be a priority.

Influenza can put you at high risk for complications and make you six times more likely to have a heart attack. For adults hospitalized with flu, serious heart complications occur in about one out of every eight patients, with 7% dying because of those complications.

The good news is that the flu vaccination is readily available and many of the standard protections against COVID-19 transmission are also effective against the spread of flu. You can take additional steps to stay heart healthy during flu season. Heres what you need to know:

How Your Flu Medicine Can Affect Your Heart

What You Need To Know About Flu Medications

Over-the-counter drugs are most peoples go-to solution for the relief of aches, mild fever, a blocked nose, and other symptoms of the flu or a seasonal cold.

Such medicines include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, and decongestants that include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.

While these drugs are typically safe to take as long as you follow the recommended dosages, specialists from the American Heart Association and other institutions warn that they could worsen the cardiovascular health of certain at-risk individuals.

People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants, cautions Sondra DePalma, who is a physician assistant at the PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute at UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg, PA, and one of the specialists behind the AHAs and American College of Cardiologys guidelines for the management of high blood pressure.

And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a healthcare provider, DePalma also advises.

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Heart Failure: Flu Vaccine Could Save Lives

People with heart failure are more susceptible to flu complications than other people. However, a new study has revealed that flu vaccinations may have a significant impact on lifespan.

Most doctors, scientists, and other medical professionals consider flu vaccinations to be a safe and effective way of protecting people against influenza, or the flu.

The vaccine, usually given in the form of an injection, contains small amounts of deactivated flu viruses.

These viruses are not harmful in this state but do trigger the human body to produce antibodies to fight against them. This means that the next time the virus enters the body, it can produce the same response quickly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that everyone over the age of 6 months has a flu vaccination. However, certain individuals are more at risk of experiencing flu-related complications or even death.

This includes people over 65 years old and over, those who are pregnant, and those who have medical conditions, such as heart disease.

A new study has examined just how much of an impact a flu shot can have on the survival rate of people diagnosed with heart failure. This group of individuals are often older and are also likely to have a range of other health issues. For these people, getting the flu can be a severe problem.

Give It A Shot: The Latest On The Flu & Covid Vaccine

What puts someone at a higher risk for a severe case of the flu? Watch this House Calls clip to find out. Or, check out the full episode link below to get answers to all your flu season questions.

House Calls episodes feature conversations with AHA staff and medical experts on topics important to heart and stroke patients or anyone looking to live a longer, healthier life.

Also Check: Why The Flu Vaccine Is Important

Do You Have Heart Disease Get A Flu Shot

Its that time of year: flu season. Anyone can get the flu, a highly contagious respiratory illness. While most people recover from the flu within a week or two, people with cardiovascular disease have an increased risk of developing serious health complications from the flu.

If you have heart disease, getting your annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from potential complications.

Similarities Between The Symptoms Of The Flu And Covid

Flu Treatment

The flu and COVID-19 are different viruses. They’re very contagious and have similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 when symptoms appear.

If you start to develop symptoms, follow the same precautions taken for COVID-19.

This year is more important than ever for everyone 6 months and older to get the flu shot. This will help prevent the flu and flu-related complications. Preventing the flu will also help reduce stress on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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/6what Heart Patients Should Know About Flu Symptoms

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, “Among adults hospitalized with flu during recent flu seasons, heart disease was one of the most common chronic conditionsabout half of adults hospitalized with flu have heart disease.”

Further, the health agency highlights that studies have shown an increase in heart attacks and stroke due to flu illness.

While the COVID-19 pandemic, the associated measures to curb the spread and maintaining proper hygiene lowered the risk of contracting not just the SARs-COV-2 virus, but also the flu, the easing down and relaxation of the same has made it more difficult than ever.

At a time like this, heart patients should be extremely careful and should be aware of the possible signs and symptoms of the flu. One should know how to differentiate between the most common and concerning symptoms.

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