Friday, September 29, 2023

Over The Counter Flu Drugs

Must read

More For Your Medicine Cabinet

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

Be prepared when a cold or flu might strike with remedies at the ready in your medicine cabinet. Make sure you have a working digital thermometer to check for fever. Keep ibuprofen on hand for pain relief and fever reduction. Antacids, anti-diarrheals and other stomach remedies are also good to have available. Don?t forget throat lozenges, vitamin C, anti-bacterial hand soap and facial tissues.

*The total item count is approximate. The count will be inaccurate when sponsored products are displayed, when multiple sizes or colors of a product are grouped on a single product card, and when the in-stock filter is applied.

Symptoms Of The Common Cold

Colds are very common and usually clear up within a week. Like the flu, colds are caused by a virus. The main symptoms of a cold include:

A sore throat A blocked or runny nose Sneezing A cough

Symptoms, such as a fever, headache and aching muscles can occasionally occur as well, although these tend to be more often associated with the flu.

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.

You May Like: Children’s Flu Medicine Otc

What Are Cold And Cough Medicines

There are many cold and cough medicines that can be bought from supermarkets and pharmacies. These medicines do not cure your cold or cough but are designed to ease your symptoms. Symptoms of a cold are a runny or congested, stuffy nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Sometimes there may be a cough either a dry, hacking cough or a wet cough with mucus or sputum.The information on this page is for cough and cold medicines for adults. For information on children, see cough and cold medicines for children.

Examples of cold and cough medicines
  • Codral®
  • Sudafed PE®

Medications For Fever And Aches

Medication flying off the shelves as flu cases surge

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.

You May Like: What Medication Should You Take For The Flu

So What Exactly Is This Bug Thats Going Around

Rhinovirus is one of the bigger types of the common cold, where you may experience a cough, cold, congestion and sometimes a mild fever,Bindiya Gandhi, MD, board-certified in family and integrated medicine with more than 10 years of experience, told The Post. Sometimes, it can be confused with allergies, depending on the time of year, because there are fall allergies aside from spring.

The common cold can last anywhere from three to 10 days, she added.

Prescription Medications: Antiviral Drugs

Prescription antiviral drugs can help reduce flu symptoms and prevent related complications. These drugs prevent the virus from growing and replicating.

Common antiviral prescriptions include neuraminidase inhibitors:

  • zanamivir

Food and Drug Administration also approved a new medication called baloxavir marboxil in October 2018. It can treat people ages 12 years and older who have had flu symptoms for less than 48 hours. It works differently than the neuraminidase inhibitors.

For maximum effectiveness, antiviral drugs must be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. If taken right away, antiviral medications can also help shorten the duration of the flu.

Antiviral medications are also used in flu prevention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , neuraminidase inhibitors have a 70 to 90 percent success rate in preventing the flu.

During a flu outbreak, a doctor will often give individuals who have a higher chance of contracting the virus an antiviral along with the flu vaccine. This combination helps bolster their defenses against infection.

People who cant be vaccinated can help their bodys defenses by taking an antiviral drug. People who cannot be vaccinated include infants younger than 6 months and people who are allergic to the vaccine.

Overuse can also limit availability for individuals at higher risk who need this medication to prevent serious flu-related illness.

The antiviral medications most commonly prescribed are:

  • zanamivir

Recommended Reading: Will My Insurance Cover Flu Shot At Cvs

Which Flu Treatment Is Best For My Sore Throat

Drinking lots of fluids and using salt water gargles can often be helpful for easing the pain of a sore throat. Over-the-counter pain relievers and medicated lozenges and gargles can also temporarily soothe a sore throat. Get your doctor’s approval before using any medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and don’t use lozenges or gargles for more than a few days. Call your doctor if your throat is still sore after a couple of days or if it is severe.The medications could mask signs of strep throat, a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.

Will An Antibiotic Cure Me Of The Flu

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

No, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and do not work on viral infections like the flu. This is another common myth about the flu and possible flu medicine used to treat it.

You might hear people say that they took an antibiotic and it cured them of the flu. Since the flu usually lasts about 5 to 7 days, it might seem that an antibiotic may have helped cure the flu. However, it is likely that the flu just resolved on its own.

Research studies of antiviral flu medicine shows that it can lessen symptoms of the flu and shorten the amount of time youre sick. If you think you may need a flu medicine to help with the flu, you should talk about it with your healthcare provider.

OTC flu medicines, as mentioned above, can help with symptoms but usually do not shorten the flus course.

Don’t Miss: Which Cold And Flu Medicine Is Best

What Are Other Ways To Treat And Prevent The Flu

Antiviral prescription medicines and an annual flu vaccine are available for treating and preventing the flu.

Prescription anti-flu medicines include amantadine , rimantadine , zanamivir and oseltamivir . These drugs do not cure the flu, but they can make the symptoms milder and make you feel better more quickly. They are only effective when used in the first 48 hours of flu-like symptoms.

These drugs are not needed for healthy people who get the flu. They are usually reserved for people who are very sick with the flu or those who are at risk of complications from the flu, such as people with long-term chronic medical conditions or older age.

Flu vaccine . Although there is currently no vaccine against the common cold, there is a vaccine to prevent the flu. The vaccine is available by both shot and nasal spray. It works by exposing the immune system to the viruses. The body responds by building antibodies against the flu. The flu shot contains dead flu viruses. The nasal spray contains live, but weakened, flu viruses. The nasal spray is only approved for healthy children and adults two to 49 years old and who are not pregnant.

Choose The Proper Flu Medicine As Needed

When you have a cold, the symptoms can be really hard to bear. Especially when you have a tight schedule and do not have time to visit your doctor. When this happens, over-the-counter drugs might be the right solution. But many cold medications contain just a few types of drugs and would not be suitable for you. The key is to check the list of ingredients and match the right drug to your symptoms.

Here are some ingredients that you need to know before choosing any over-the-counter drugs.

1. Paracetamol

Paracetamol is classified as a mild analgesic. It is commonly used for the relief of headaches and other minor aches and pains. It is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu remedies. Paracetamol also be used to reduce the fever, available for any ages.

Avoid if:

You have liver problems such as hepatitis or cirrhosis. Don’t take more than the recommended dose or try to use other products that contain paracetamol without consulting first.

2. Antihistamin

Not only virus, allergy could also induce you to sneeze and get cold. These are usually followed with runny nose, itching and watery eyes. For these kinds of symptoms, you need to find a product that contains Antihistamines. There are many different kinds, including diphenhydramine, brompheniramine, and loratadine. For the right product, you might need to consult with the pharmacist.

Avoid if:

Avoid if:

4. Expectorant

Avoid if:

5. Nasal Decongestant

Avoid if:

Also Check: What To Do If Arm Hurts After Flu Shot

Which Treatments Should I Take For Flu Symptoms

The flu treatment you should take depends on your symptoms. For example, if you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant can be helpful.

come in oral or nasal spray forms. Decongestants are used to reduce swelling in the nasal passageways. However, nasal spray decongestants should not be used for more than a few days because, if they are used too long and then stopped, they can cause rebound symptoms.

If you have a runny nose, postnasal drip, or itchy, watery eyes — then an antihistamine may be helpful for your flu symptoms. Antihistamines block the effect of “histamine,” and help relieve such annoying symptoms as sneezing, itching, and nasal discharge.

Some over-the-counter antihistamines often make people drowsy, whereas decongestants can make people hyper or keep them awake. Keep in mind that both decongestants and antihistamines can interact with other drugs you may be taking, and they may aggravate some conditions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which flu symptom treatment is best for you.

Frosting Tubes And Icing Gels

The Truth About 10 Over

#CFIArecall Twinkle Baker D\u00e9cor brand frosting tubes and icing gels recalled due to improperly declared milk Canadian Food Inspection Agency 1639094021

If you’ve been getting your baking on for the holiday season, some Twinkle Baker Décor brand frosting tubes and icing gels were recalled on December 6 due to improperly declared milk.

The affected products were sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Stay safe, everyone!

Read Also: Will Getting Two Flu Shots Hurt You

Drugs And Treatments For The Flu

Treating the flu mainly means relieving major symptoms until your body clears the infection.

Antibiotics arent effective against the flu because its caused by a virus, not bacteria. But your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat any secondary bacterial infection that may be present. Theyll likely recommend some combination of self-care and medication to treat your symptoms.

People who are at high risk for flu complications should seek immediate medical attention. High-risk groups include:

  • adults ages 65 years and older
  • women who are pregnant or up to 2 weeks postpartum
  • people who have weakened immune systems

In most cases, however, the flu just needs to run its course. The best treatments for people with the flu are lots of rest and plenty of fluids.

You may not have much of an appetite, but its important to eat regular meals to keep up your strength.

If possible, stay home from work or school. Dont go back until your symptoms subside.

To bring down a fever, place a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead or take a cool bath.

You may also use over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .

Other self-care options include the following:

  • Have a bowl of hot soup to relieve nasal congestion.
  • Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption.

OTC medications wont shorten the length of the flu, but they can help reduce symptoms.

What Works What Doesnt And What May Actually Be Dangerous

There are a lot of cold and flu meds on the market. Some work pretty well others, not so much. And most have side effects, even when taken short-term. Thats why its usually a good bet to start with home remedies, which often provide relief and tend to be safer than drugs. And it’s almost never a good idea to ask your doctor for antibiotics: those drugs don’t work against the cold or flu.

Note that most drugs listed below are also available as lower-cost generic or store brands. The listed drugs are examples and are often multisymptom products that contain several active ingredients.)

Also Check: Valid Reasons To Decline Flu Vaccine

Will I Be Able To Show My Quebec Vaccine Passport

Ontario is working on a QR code system like Quebec’s, but the Ontario government has not confirmed whether the province will recognize Quebec’s QR codes.

For now, Ontario says that “patrons who are visitors to Ontario will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and proof of identification to enter the businesses organizations.”

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

Best Products To Shop For The Sephora Year End Sale Happening Now

Flu Season Wiping Out Over The Counter Medications

If COVID-19 wasnt enough, we now have a common cold going around. In other words, that bug, which is causing fatigue, a sore throat and a cough and waking you up in the middle of the night.

Its more important than ever to know which pills, sprays and treatments to have on hand and ready for sluggish days of feeling not-so-good.

Read Also: Tylenol Cold And Flu Medication

Whats The Difference Between The Common Cold And Covid

The cough and congestion levels can be similar but the main difference is that COVID-19 symptoms tend to be more respiratory-related, like shortness of breath, she said. People also experience loss of taste, smell, and some gastrointestinal issues, whether thats nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Because some symptoms overlap, Dr. Gandhi recommended taking a COVID-19 swab test, even if experiencing a mild cold or cough. Nine times out of 10, it could be a common cold, but its good to assess if its something more severe.

Over The Counter Flu Medication

When you’re under the weather, choose an over-the-counter flu medication that can reduce symptoms. Specific cold and flu medications can alleviate cough, fever or congestion. Liquid and caplet varieties of multi-symptom relief can help knock out several sources of discomfort. Vicks, Alka-Seltzer and TheraFlu offer over-the-counter flu medication that can help you feel better faster.

Recommended Reading: When Do I Need A Flu Shot

How Are Flu Symptoms Treated & Managed

If youre otherwise healthy, there should be no need to visit your GP. As with a cold, the best way to recover is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. It may help to take cold relief remedies for the cold-like symptoms you have with flu.

You can take over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol to decrease a high temperature and relieve aches if necessary. Ask your pharmacist for more information about medicines for flu relief.

For a faster recovery , its best to stay home from work or school until your symptoms improve. For most people, this takes at least a week.

Cold And Flu Home Remedies

9 Cold Medicines That

Besides resting and drinking plenty of fluids, the following natural remedies may provide symptom relief for a cold or the flu, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Eat chicken soup. Warm fluids can be soothing and loosen congestion.
  • Adjust a rooms temperature and humidity. The air should be warm but not overheated if its dry, use a humidifier.
  • Soothe your throat. Gargling with salted water can ease pain.
  • Use nasal drops or spray. Both the homemade and OTC kinds can relieve nasal congestion.

RELATED: No Flu Shot and Now You Have the Flu: What to Do?

Don’t Miss: Which Person Is Least Likely To Have Flu Related Complications

More articles

Popular Articles