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.
How To Prevent The Flu
If you havent taken steps to prevent the flu this season, its not too late to get started. Your best defense against the flu is to get the flu shot. The antibodies from this annual vaccine will protect you from the more common virus strains of influenza.
It is also important to avoid people who are sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms, as this increases your chance of contracting the virus. Be sure to clean communal spaces daily with disinfectants and wash your hands regularly. As a general rule of thumb, keep your hands away from your mouth and nose to prevent ingesting germs, bacteria, or viruses that live on the skin.
Rest and a good diet are two other factors to consider. Make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, as this can help to boost your immune system. Find ways to relax, as stress can also take a toll on your immune system. Make sure you are eating nutritious and healthy food, as well as vitamins, minerals, and plenty of fluid to stay hydrated.
For more information about using nebulizers to treat flu symptoms, consult with your doctor and ask for a prescription. When it comes to choosing a quality nebulizer that will relieve your respiratory systems, consider a trusted name like Nebology. To learn more about our clinically-proven PARI nebulizers, contact our team.
Who Can Donate Plasma For Covid
In order to donate plasma, a person must meet several criteria. They have to have tested positive for COVID-19, recovered, have no symptoms for 14 days, currently test negative for COVID-19, and have high enough antibody levels in their plasma. A donor and patient must also have compatible blood types. Once plasma is donated, it is screened for other infectious diseases, such as HIV.
Each donor produces enough plasma to treat one to three patients. Donating plasma should not weaken the donor’s immune system nor make the donor more susceptible to getting reinfected with the virus.
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Is The Flu Caused By Bacteria
No, the flu is caused by viruses, not bacteria.
Thinking that the flu is caused by bacteria is a common myth, and some people even call any symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea the stomach flu. These symptoms are sometimes related to the flu, but they are not the main symptoms. Bacteria is a common cause of stomach symptoms.
The flu is a respiratory disease, meaning that it stays in your airways. The flu virus does not move to parts of your body other than the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs.
Some respiratory diseases, including pneumonia, strep throat, and whooping cough are caused by bacteria. Since the flu is not caused by bacteria, it is not treated with antibiotics like other infections. The primary flu medicine that might be prescribed by your healthcare provider is an antiviral a type of medication that fights viruses.
What Are Monoclonal Antibodies Can They Help Treat Covid
Three monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA. The treatments may be used to treat non-hospitalized adults and children over age 12 with mild to moderate symptoms who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, and who are at risk for developing severe COVID-19 or being hospitalized for it. This includes people over 65, people with obesity, and those with certain chronic medical conditions. Newer research suggests that monoclonal antibody treatment may also help to save lives in a specific subgroup of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Monoclonal antibodies are manmade versions of the antibodies that our bodies naturally make to fight invaders, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus. All three of the FDA-authorized therapies attack the coronavirus’s spike protein, making it more difficult for the virus to attach to and enter human cells.
The monoclonal antibody treatments that have EUA approval are: a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, called REGN-COV, made by Regeneron a combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab, made by Eli Lilly and sotrovimab, made by GlaxoSmithKline. These treatments must be given intravenously in a clinic or hospital. These treatments are not currently authorized for hospitalized COVID-19 patients or those receiving oxygen therapy.
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Promising Treatments To Talk To Your Doctor About
The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on what to do if you get sick with Covid-19 advises you to wear a mask, wash your hands, and clean high-touch surfaces to avoid infecting those around you. If your breathing deteriorates or you show signs of severe illness like confusion or an inability to stay awake, the CDC advises you to go to the hospital.
All sound guidance but advice on what treatments to get is harder to come by.
Is It The Flu Or A Cold
The CDC has a great chart to help decipher between the common cold and influenza. Sometimes youll never know what is in your house and body unless you go in and get tested to identify the virus of cause. But in general, influenza causes a more abrupt onset of illness. Youre fine and then, BAMMO. Influenza often causes severe cold symptoms, a high fever, runny nose, cough, congestion, and can lead to things like pneumonia, ear infections, long-lasting fever, dehydration, etc. Young children are at a higher risk for more serious disease than older children, so parents should check in with their physician if they are concerned about their infant or toddlers infection when the flu is peaking.
Most of the time children just look crummy when they get the flu: tired, clingy, feverish, coughing, and lack energy. If this comes on suddenly or parents worry about dehydration, rapid breathing, high fever or lethargy, they should call their childs healthcare team. Abrupt symptom onset, fever, aches, chills, fatigue, cough, and headache are common. So are muscle aches, especially in the lower legs. I often tell families that influenza makes people feel so bad that patients will complain their hair hurts or even their skin.
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Is The Antidepressant Drug Fluvoxamine Effective For Treating Covid
A large study published in Lancet Global Health in October 2021 found that the antidepressant fluvoxamine , which may be taken by mouth at home, significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization in some COVID-19 patients at serious risk for severe illness.
The Lancet study enrolled nearly 1,500 adults in Brazil. Most study participants were unvaccinated, had symptomatic, early, confirmed COVID-19, and were at increased risk of serious illness due to underlying health problems. About half took a placebo while the other half were told to take one 100-mg fluvoxamine pill, twice a day, for 10 days.
The fluvoxamine group was significantly less likely than the placebo group to need hospitalization or an extended emergency room stay. The randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted by an international team of researchers, and it confirmed preliminary findings published last year in JAMA.
Fluvoxamine is in a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . It was approved by the FDA in 1994 and is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. Fluvoxamine appears to work against COVID by reducing inflammation, which is a hallmark of severe COVID infection. The drug may also have antiviral properties. Because it is already on the market, doctors can prescribe it off-label for COVID patients they deem appropriate.
Which Flu Treatment Works Best For My Cough
An occasional cough may clear the lung of pollutants and excess phlegm. A persistent cough should be diagnosed and treated specifically. On the pharmacy shelf, you’ll find numerous cough medicines with various combinations of decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics/antipyretics, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Ask your pharmacist which combination, if any, would be appropriate for your cough.Ã Some research suggests that honey may help suppress a cough- but do not use in anyone under the age of one as it may cause a type of food poisoning called botulism in younger children.
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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.
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.
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Finding the best ways to do good.
Theres still a lot we dont know about the coming omicron wave, but theres one thing we can be pretty sure about: A lot of people are going to get sick. Omicron is highly contagious, and people with previous immunity from a Covid-19 infection, or from vaccination, appear more vulnerable to omicron than to previous variants.
For vaccinated people, omicron cases are likely to be mild, but even a small fraction of cases resulting in hospitalization can overwhelm our hospitals if enough people get sick at once which looks likely to happen.
That means that as the wave sweeps the country, people will have an obvious if critical question: What treatments are available to me if I get sick with Covid-19?
The good news is that scientists have more answers to that question than they did two years ago when Covid-19 first hit. Most of the treatments that researchers have tested in large clinical trials havent panned out, but a few look promising, including some that are cheap and safe. If you get sick, its worth fully exploring your options. We asked experts how the best existing treatments are expected to stand up to omicron in particular, and what to look into if you get sick.
More Advice About Flu And Flu Prevention
Reducing your chances of picking up flu germs will lower your risk of becoming infected. You should:
- wash your hands regularly with water and soap, particularly before touching your mouth or eating
- regularly clean surfaces which accumulate germs such as door handles and computer keyboards
- sneeze or cough into tissues
- dont leave tissues lying around, but instead put them into the bin as soon as possible
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A Public Health And Communications Failure
Symptom-based treatment options like fluvoxamine and budesonide arent sure things. The research that exists is promising, but its limited. The effect sizes that studies have found are moderate.
But they are safe, they have been FDA-approved for other use cases for decades, and theres strong published evidence supporting them as options. Despite that, many patients have likely never heard of them and some doctors have felt unsure if its acceptable to prescribe them.
I literally gave fluvox for the 1st time recently. . Despite 2 RCTs, I almost felt dirty doing it, though I think was right call. The nurses were like wtf is fluvoxamine?!
Jeremy Faust MD MS
The National Institutes of Health publish guidelines on Covid-19 treatments that are meant to help physicians and patients sort through confusing, mixed, sometimes misleading evidence. The NIH guidelines on fluvoxamine and on budesonide both state that there is too little information to recommend in favor of or against their use. But some doctors and researchers feel that position is too conservative.
With nirmatrelvir and molnupiravir not yet available, and the most widely used MAbs lacking activity against Omicron , is it time to bump up fluvoxamine at least to “consider use” status on the treatment guidelines? Two well-done RCTs show benefit.
Resources For Drug Product Information
Information about expanded access regulations, other aspects of drug development and review, and resources about the approval status of drugs and formulations can be found at:
- Electronic Orange Book: This resource can be searched for holders of approved or discontinued marketing applications, especially for drugs that may have more than one source of generic preparations.
- : This resource can be searched for approval history and labeling information for approved drugs.
- ClinicalTrials.gov: This website is maintained by the National Institutes of Health as a resource for locating information about clinical trials. Posting a trial on this website does not constitute government endorsement of the trial or the product under study.
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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.
Choosing A Nebulizer To Treat The Flu
It can be difficult to determine the quality of a nebulizer just by looking at the box or description. A bit of research may be required to choose a nebulizer system that will effectively and efficiently treat flu symptoms. Start by looking at manufacturers and nebulizers with a proven track record. Search for terms like clinically proven and trusted to ensure you are getting a system that is backed by medical professionals.
If you are looking for a nebulizer to treat a childs respiratory symptoms, make sure to purchase a nebulizer system designed for kids.
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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.
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.
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Is Hydroxychloroquine Safe And Effective For Treating Covid
Hydroxychloroquine is primarily used to treat malaria and several inflammatory diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It is inexpensive and readily available.
Early reports from China and France were promising, suggesting that patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 improved more quickly when given hydroxychloroquine.
However, in an article published in December 2020 in JAMA, researchers reported that hydroxychloroquine did not result in any clinical benefits for adults hospitalized with respiratory illness from COVID-19, compared with placebo. The NIH treatment guidelines recommend against the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.