Friday, September 22, 2023

Flu Prevention Medicine Over The Counter

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Is Tamiflu An Antibiotic Or An Antiviral

Can Over The Counter cold medications be used to treat the flu?

Tamiflu is an antiviral. It contains the active drug oseltamivir, which belongs to a class of antiviral drugs called influenza neuraminidase inhibitors. These drugs target the influenza virus and prevent it from multiplying inside your body. This helps your immune system fight off the virus.

Tamiflu is effective to treat certain strains of influenza A and influenza B virus.

Is Tamiflu Worth Taking

It can be. Most people do not need medication if they get the flu however, if you are in a high-risk group, are very sick, or are worried about your illness, antiviral medications are worth taking to make the illness milder and shorter and to reduce the risk of complications. And its important to remember that Tamiflu works best if you start taking it within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, which is why seeking early medical attention is so important, Dr. Wilkes says.

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Is It Safe To Take A Decongestant If I Have High Blood Pressure

This type of medicine can increase blood pressure and heart rate, and raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Pseudoephedrine is the main decongestant taken by mouth that’s available. In general, if your blood pressure is well controlled with medications, then a decongestant shouldn’t be a problem as long as you closely watch your BP. This may not be true with certain types of blood pressure drugs, so check with your doctor or pharmacist about what may be best for you.

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What Not To Drink

Most likely, you wont be in the mood for these during a bout of stomach flu anyway, but avoid:

  • caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong black tea, and chocolate, which can affect your sleep at a time when getting enough rest is crucial
  • alcohol, which acts as a diuretic.

All of these things can also upset your stomach.

Keeping food down can be difficult with the stomach flu. Dont force yourself to eat if the mere thought of food makes you cringe. When you do finally feel you can get something down, its best to start slow and simple.

The BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast can be your go-to when it comes to an uneasy stomach. These four foods are easy to digest, contain carbohydrates to give you energy, and replenish nutrients:

  • Bananas: Bananas are easy to digest, can replace the potassium you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, and strengthens stomach lining.
  • Rice: White rice is easy for your body to process and provides energy from carbs. Brown rice has too much fiber and may produce excess gas.
  • Applesauce: Applesauce provides an energy boost due to the carbs and sugars, and it contains pectin, which can help with diarrhea. Its also easy to digest.
  • Toast: Avoid whole-wheat bread, as fiber can be difficult on the digestive system. White bread is processed and easier to digest.

Can I Get A Flu Vaccine While Taking Tamiflu

Over the Counter Cold and Flu Treatments for Kids

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 Else Can I Do To Prevent Getting Colds And The Flu

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcoholic hand wipes. Cold and flu viruses are spread by touching your nose or mouth after touching an infected person, breathing in the air of an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or touching objects that have come in contact with the virus and then touching your nose.

Other prevention tips are to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of liquids , and avoid close contact with people who have colds. Also, get an annual flu vaccine.

Who Should Take Antiviral Drugs

Its very important that flu antiviral drugs are started as soon as possible to treat patients who are hospitalized with flu, people who are very sick with flu but who do not need to be hospitalized, and people who are at higher risk of serious flu complications based on their age or health, if they develop flu symptoms. Although other people with mild illness who are not at higher risk of flu complications may also be treated early with antiviral drugs by their doctor, most people who are otherwise healthy and not at higher risk for flu complications do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.

Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a persons risk of getting serious complications from flu:
  • Asthma
  • Blood disorders
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • People who are obese with a body mass index of 40 or higher
  • People younger than 19 years of age on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
  • People with a weakened immune system due to disease or medications

Other people at higher risk from flu:

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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.

Learn How To Distinguish Covid

Over-The-Counter Cold And Flu Medicines Becoming Harder To Find

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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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 or to the CDC and WHO websites.

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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Focus On One Symptom At A Time

You might be tempted to pick a one-size-fits-all type of med. And indeed, multi-symptom meds abound on the drugstore and big box store shelves. Pick up a box of medicine that advertises multi-symptom relief and check out the list of active ingredients.

For example, consider Vicks DayQuil Cold & Flu Multi-Symptom Relief LiquiCaps, which contains the following active ingredients: acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and phenylephrine. Meanwhile, Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Nighttime contains those same ingredients plus an antihistamine called doxylamine, which may make you drowsy .

But many experts suggest steering clear of them and sticking with a medication that will address one main symptom insteadthe symptom thats bothering you the most, perhaps.

If you do get a multi-symptom medication, says Dr. Stewart. Usually, it has a little bit of everything and not enough of one thing.

But if youre still not sure, you can always ask your doctor for some guidance. In fact, Dr. Stewart regularly recommends that people consult their doctors about medicines they plan to take.

Every medication has potential risks and benefits, and the only way to be able to recognize those is from talking to their physician who knows them, like whether they have kidney issues that could be a concern with certain medications or if they have blood pressure issues, she says.

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Do You Have A Cold Or The Flu

The Top 4 Flu Treatments That Do Not Work (And 2 That Do)

You feel a tickle in your throat, and then a headache coming on. You start to sniffle or sneeze, and suddenly you feel really tired. You know youre coming down with something but is it a cold, or do you have the flu?

With both conditions your symptoms can include a sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea, says Dr. Denise Campbell-Scherer, an associate professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Alberta. The main difference is that with the flu, youll have a temperature above 37.8°C. Flu symptoms also tend to come on suddenly, are more severe and are at their worst for the first three or four days after that, it can take up to two weeks before you feel better. A cold can linger anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, although one week is typical.

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How Can I Prevent Viral Gastroenteritis

You can take several steps to keep from getting or spreading infections that cause viral gastroenteritis. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water

  • after using the bathroom
  • after changing diapers
  • before and after handling, preparing, or eating food

You can clean surfaces that may have come into contact with infected stool or vomit, such as countertops and changing tables, with a mixture of 5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach and 1 gallon of water.7 If clothes or linens may have come into contact with an infected persons stool or vomit, you should wash them with detergent for the longest cycle available and machine dry them. To protect yourself from infection, wear rubber gloves while handling the soiled laundry and wash your hands afterward.7

If you have viral gastroenteritis, avoid handling and preparing food for others while you are sick and for 2 days after your symptoms stop.7 People who have viral gastroenteritis may spread the virus to any food they handle, especially if they do not thoroughly wash their hands. Contaminated water may also spread a virus to foods before they are harvested. For example, contaminated fruits, vegetables, and oysters have been linked to norovirus outbreaks. Wash fruits and vegetables before using them, and thoroughly cook oysters and other shellfish.7Find tips to help keep food safe.

Flu Medicine For Children

Children can take some types of flu medicine, but other types may be unsafe. Children can take prescription flu medicines based on their age, as listed above for each of the four FDA-approved antiviral medications approved.

The OTC flu medicines that children can use also depend on the childs age and the medication. Always follow the directions on the OTC medication package and talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist if youre unsure.

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Can I Take Advil Or Tylenol To Treat My Cold

Heres the scoop: Advil is ibuprofen and, since acetaminophen works best for fevers and mild body aches, youll want to take Tylenol, according to Gandhi. You can alternate acetaminophen with ibuprofen for fevers. If you have any liver issues, you dont want to take acetaminophen and if you have any kidney issues, you dont want to take ibuprofen, she explains.

Relief Without A Prescription

Over the counter flu medications: what works, what doesn’t

The advantage of taking over-the-counter flu medication is that you may be able to avoid a doctor visit and still find relief. Try a multi-symptom flu medicine that can address most or all of your symptoms. There are also nighttime and daytime cold and flu medication options if you need help sleeping or getting through the day. Make sure that the OTC flu remedy you choose doesn’t adversely affect other medications you’re taking. For instance, there are specifically formulated cold and flu medicines for those with high blood pressure.

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Can Pregnant People Take Antiviral Drugs

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.

Otc Treatments For Battling Flu Symptoms:

  • Mucus Thinners: sometimes flu viruses trigger the body to produce a large amount of thick mucus. This mucus can be especially pesky at night pooling in the back of the throat and triggering more cough. If you feel that you are having trouble coughing out the mucus, its because sometimes its thicker. Medications with the active ingredient guaifenesin can be helpful and sometimes thin the mucus to make it easier to clear.
  • Pain Relievers/Fever Reducers: ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce fevers, body and headaches associated with the flu. No question this is typically the medicine category that will make your child feel better with a virus that causes a fever.
  • Cough Medicine: cough suppressants are helpful if your cough is keeping you awake at night, or if your chest or belly are becoming uncomfortably sore from coughing. Dextromethorphan is the most common active ingredient in cough medication. Since cough medicine shouldnt be used in children under the age of four, I recommend honey sticks to my patients over the age of one. Research shows honey can help with productive nighttime coughing. Use a teaspoon in some warm lemon water or give it to your child directly.
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    What’s Best For My Sore Throat

    Drink lots of fluids, and use a salt-water gargle for relief. To make it, mix a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt. Some medications you take by mouth like acetaminophen, medicated lozenges, and gargles can also temporarily soothe a sore throat.

    Get your doctor’s OK before you take anything, even over-the-counter drugs. Don’t use lozenges or gargles for more than a few days. The drugs could mask signs of strep throat, a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.

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    Expectorants Make It Easier To Cough Up Sticky Phlegm

    Why Kids Under 12 Don

    Chesty coughs are more common with colds. If you have a cough with mucus, the last thing you want to do is stop yourself from coughing, so cough suppressants are not for you.

    Instead, use an expectorant such as guaifenesin to rid your lungs of all that sticky gunk that is floating around in there. Expectorants thin mucus making it much easier to cough it up and out. If you have green-colored mucus, chest pain when coughing, or a fever, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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    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 loosen up a stuffy nose, take a decongestant with the active ingredient pseudoephedrine. It thins out the mucus that your body produces, allowing it to escape your inflamed nasal passages so you can breathe easy again.

    Phenylephrine is another decongestant available for stuffy nose.

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