Sunday, October 1, 2023

Meds To Treat The Flu

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How Long Are You Contagious After Taking Xofluza

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

Taking Xofluza helps your body to fight off the influenza virus, but it wont stop you from being contagious . The flu virus is highly contagious. Its easily transferred in droplets you breathe out, especially through coughing, sneezing, and talking.

You can pass the flu virus to other people for about 5 to 7 days after you first get symptoms, even if you take Xofluza. Some people, such as those with a weak immune system, may continue transferring the virus for longer than 5 to 7 days.

To avoid transmitting the flu virus to other people:

  • if possible, stay at home and away from other people while you have symptoms
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and water
  • cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then put the tissue in the trash

Fighting The Flu At Home

The note that some of the most important ways of fighting the flu at home include:

  • getting lots of rest
  • drinking plenty of fluids, including juices and water
  • taking acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce fever
  • avoiding smoking or being around people who are smoking
  • avoiding drinking alcohol while sick

Some additional ways to reduce flu symptoms include:

  • taking a warm bath with Epsom salt or baking soda to relieve aches
  • using a humidifier to add moisture to the air
  • applying a vapor rub to the chest, for adults
  • using a saltwater gargle
  • trying supplements, such as vitamin C, probiotics, or echinacea

According to a 2014 review , honey could also help with symptoms. Researchers found three studies providing evidence that taking honey right before bed can ease symptoms, such as a cough, in children.

Another study from 2014 found that taking zinc can help with flu symptoms by preventing the virus from rapidly spreading, reducing the duration of illness. However, there is not enough evidence to support routine or high dosages of zinc to prevent the flu.

Most people do not need to see a doctor for symptoms of the flu.

However, anyone at risk of serious health complications should talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms. They may also wish to do this if there is a local flu outbreak in the area.

  • pregnancy
  • kidney, liver, or metabolic disorders
  • HIV
  • weakened immune system
  • blood disorders

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

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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Antiviral Drugs

Side effects vary for each medication. The most common side effects for oseltamivir are nausea and vomiting. Zanamivir can cause bronchospasm, and peramivir can cause diarrhea. Other less common side effects also have been reported. Your health care provider can give you more information about these drugs or you can check the Food and Drug Administration websiteexternal icon for specific information about antiviral drugs, including the manufacturers package insert.

Parents, if your child gets sick with flu, antiviral drugs offer a safe and effective treatment option. For treatment, influenza antiviral drugs should ideally be started within 2 days after becoming sick and taken according to your doctors instructions .

How To Use Antiviral Medications

Treatment: What You Need to Know

Each medication is given in a different way and may not be appropriate for certain groups of people. Your healthcare provider can determine which medication is right for you and your situation.

  • Rapivab is given through an IV as a one-day treatment for those age 2 and over. It is not given as a preventative medication.
  • Relenza is an inhaled powder. It is used twice daily for five days for the treatment of children and adults age 7 years and older. It’s used once daily for as a preventative medication for those age 5 and older.
  • Tamiflu is available as a pill or liquid. It may be used as a five-day treatment for any age group, or as a seven-day preventative medication for those over 3 months of age.
  • Xofluza is a pill given as a one-day treatment for those age 12 and over. It is not given as a preventative medication.

Oral Tamiflu is the preferred treatment for those who are pregnant as its safety is supported by more studies.

If your symptoms worsen while you are on these mediations or after you complete a course, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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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.

Xofluza Use With Other Drugs

Xofluza is used to treat or prevent influenza . When used to treat the flu, the drug helps your body recover more quickly that it would without treatment. However, you might want to take OTC medications to help relieve your symptoms while Xofluza is working. Below are lists of examples of OTC drugs that may be used with Xofluza.

Examples of drugs that reduce body aches, headache, sore throat, and fever include:

  • acetaminophen

Examples of drugs that ease coughing include:

  • guaifenesin
  • dextromethorphan

Many OTC flu medications contain a combination of several of the drug ingredients listed above. As with prescription medications, not all OTC medications are a good fit for everyone. To make sure an OTC medication is safe for you, check the label or talk with your doctor.

You can talk with your pharmacist about remedies that can help your symptoms. However, while you have the flu, its best to either call the pharmacist for advice or send someone else to the drugstore for you. This helps you avoid spreading the infection.

Its important not to take more than the recommended dosage of OTC medications. In addition, dont take more than one medication containing the same active ingredient. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about which drugs you can take with Xofluza.

You should take Xofluza according to your doctor or healthcare providers instructions.

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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.

Which Treatment Should I Use For Nasal Congestion

Antiviral drugs for the flu | Infectious diseases | Health & Medicine | Khan Academy

If you need immediate relief for swollen, congested nasal passages, you may get relief with an over-the-counter decongestant nasal spray. It is important to stop using decongestant nasal sprays after three days to avoid the development of rebound congestion.

Some doctors suggest using a saline spray instead of a medicated spray. Saline sprays loosen thick mucus in the nasal passageways but have no rebound effect. They may be used for extended periods of time without significant side effects.

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What Treatment Options Are Safe While Breastfeeding

Natural remedies like saline nasal drops and warm salt-water gargles remain great options for cold and flu treatment while breastfeeding.

In addition, the following options are among those generally considered safe, according to the Mayo Clinic, which recommends seeking input from a healthcare provider before taking any medication:

  • Analgesics for Pain and Fever Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen short term use only
  • AntihistaminesLoratadine and fexofenadine
  • Pseudoephedrine use with caution, as it can decrease milk supply

For breastfeeding mothers with the flu, who are at high risk of complications, antiviral medications are considered safe. Oseltamivir is the top choice, according to the CDC, adding that very little of the drug ends up in breast milk.

Additional reporting by Pamela Kaufman.

How Long Does It Take To Work

Xofluza starts working against the flu virus within 4 hours of when you take a dose.

In people treating the flu, the majority feel better about 2 days after taking it. This is about 1 day faster than if you dont take an antiviral drug.

If you dont start to feel better about 2 days after taking Xofluza, or if your symptoms get worse, call your doctor.

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Okay But What Types Of Cold Medicine Can You Take While Pregnant

Most medicines taken during pregnancy cross the placenta and reach the fetus, so it’s important to know which ones are safe, and which should be avoidedand what some natural remedies are instead.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends getting plenty of rest , drinking lots of fluids and trying some natural remedies. For instance, to reduce congestion, place a humidifier in your room, elevate your head during rest time, or try nasal strips. To soothe a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water, drink warm tea, or suck on ice chips.

As far as OTC medications go, the APA advises keeping the number to a minimum during pregnancy. Among the safest options for pregnant women are:

  • Acetaminophen can work for fevers, headaches, and body aches.
  • Expectorants , cough suppressants , vapor rubs , and most cough drops are generally considered safe to help ease a cough.
  • Anesthetic throat lozenges can relieve a sore throat.

Cold medicines that you should avoid, however, include:

  • Some pain relievers and fever reducers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen .
  • Afrin and other non-steroidal nasal decongestant sprays containing oxymetazoline.
  • OTC herbal remedies like Echinacea.

To be on the safe side, always get your cold meds approved by your pharmacist, doctor or midwife. Many docs advise staying away from all medicines during the first trimester.

What About Antiviral Drugs To Treat The Flu

Treatment: What You Need to Know

There are specific antiviral drugs that fight against the flu in your body and come in three forms: pills, liquid or a powder that you inhale. You must have a prescription for antiviral drugs as they are not available over-the-counter. Antivirals are different from antibiotics because they fight viruses, not bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, antiviral drugs do not destroy their target instead, they prevent it from developing so, for example, they prevent the flu virus from multiplying and spreading throughout your body.

Taking antiviral medications can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by a day or two. While that may not seem like much, anyone who has ever had the flu will tell you they would have loved a couple of days off from feeling so miserable. Perhaps, more importantly, antiviral flu medications can also prevent serious flu complications, which create much more serious health issues, like pneumonia.

Some people are at high-risk for complications from the flu. For example, people 65 and older, American Indians and Alaska Natives, children under five , and those with medical conditions such as asthma, sickle cell disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have a high-risk of flu complications. Treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a relatively mild illness and a very serious one that could result in a hospital stay or worse.

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Antivirals Treat Respiratory Viruses

There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs:

  • Oseltamivir , which comes in pill form
  • Peramivir , which is administered intravenously
  • Zanamivir , which is inhaled as a powder
  • Baloxavir , which comes in pill form

These drugs are approved for early treatment of influenza and have been shown to reduce flu symptoms if started within a day or two of getting sick. People with chronic lung disease, including asthma, should not use Relenza or Rapivab, because these drugs sometimes worsen breathing problems. Xofluza is not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, outpatients with complicated or progressive illness, or hospitalized patients.

Antiviral medicine is recommended for people with more severe illness, especially those who might require hospitalization. Talk to your doctor about which of these treatments may be right for you.

Treatment with antiviral medicine is most important for people with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at higher risk for complications, including:

  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women

Ex Vivo Culture Of T Lymphocytes

Human T lymphocytes can be expanded in vitro using beads holding specific antigens to activate the cells and stimulate growth. Clonal populations of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells have been grown which carry T cell receptors specific to influenza. These work much like antibodies but are permanently bound to these cells. . High concentrations of N-acetylcysteine have been used to enhance growth of these cells. This method is still in early research.

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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.

What Antiviral Drugs Are Recommended This Flu Season

Infectious Diseases A-Z: Are antiviral medications effective against the flu?

There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by CDC to treat flu this season.

Generic oseltamivirexternal icon and Tamiflu® are available as a pill or liquid suspension and are FDA approved for early treatment of flu in people 14 days and older. Zanamivir is a powder that is inhaled and approved for early treatment of flu in people 7 years and older. is administered using an inhaler device and is not recommended for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD.) Oseltamivir and zanamivir are given twice a day for 5 days. Peramivir is given once intravenously by a health care provider and is approved for early treatment of flu in people 2 years and older. Baloxavir is a pill given as a single dose by mouth and is approved for early treatment of flu in people 12 years and older. is not recommended for pregnant people, breastfeeding people, outpatients with complicated or progressive illness, or hospitalized patients because there is no information about use of baloxavir in these patients.)

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Replace Lost Fluids And Electrolytes

When you have viral gastroenteritis, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration or treat mild dehydration. You should drink plenty of liquids. If vomiting is a problem, try sipping small amounts of clear liquids.

Most adults with viral gastroenteritis can replace fluids and electrolytes with liquids such as

  • water
  • broths

Eating saltine crackers can also help replace electrolytes.

If your child has viral gastroenteritis, you should give your child an oral rehydration solutionsuch as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, and CeraLyteas directed to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Oral rehydration solutions are liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes. Talk with a doctor about giving these solutions to your infant. Infants should drink breast milk or formula as usual.

Older adults, adults with a weakened immune system, and adults with severe diarrhea or symptoms of dehydration should also drink oral rehydration solutions.

What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication

Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of reach of children. Store the capsules at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Commercial oseltamivir suspension can be kept at room temperature for up to 10 days or in the refrigerator for up to 17 days. Oseltamivir suspension prepared by a pharmacist can be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 35 days. Do not freeze oseltamivir suspension.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

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