Drug Forms And Administration
Tamiflu is taken by mouth, either once or twice daily. It comes in these two forms:
- Capsules. These are available in three strengths: 30 mg, 45 mg, and 75 mg.
- Oral suspension. This form of Tamiflu is a powder thats been dissolved in water. The oral suspension is available in one strength: 6 mg/mL .
Like Tamiflu, Xofluza is also taken by mouth. It can also be taken through a feeding tube. It comes as tablets and an oral suspension, each of which are taken as a single, one-time dose. Xofluza tablets are available in two strengths: 20 mg and 40 mg. And Xofluza solution is available in one strength: 40 mg/20 mL.
How Are Antivirals Used In Preventing Flu
Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral if you come in close contact with family members or others who have the flu and you want to try to avoid getting sick. However, the CDC discourages this as a routine practice, as it can lead to drug-resistant strains of the virus. Instead, the CDC recommends that people at risk of severe flu — such as pregnant women or people with asthma, diabetes, or heart disease — begin antiviral treatment as soon as flu symptoms appear. Others at high risk for complications from the flu include infants, the elderly, those with chronic illness, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives
It’s important, however, to remember that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu.
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 Xofluza Or Tamiflu Help Treat Covid
COVID-19 is a rapidly developing situation, so its possible the information in this section could change. As of September 2020, this is the most up-to-date information available.
Because both Xofluza and Tamiflu are antiviral drugs, scientists and healthcare providers wondered if they could also help treat COVID-19. Unfortunately, neither have shown any promise with this. SARS-CoV-2 does not have the same structure as the influenza virus. Xofluza and Tamiflu attack structural parts that are unique to the flu.
Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use Relenza if you are allergic to zanamivir or to lactose .
Do not use Relenza to treat flu symptoms in a child younger than 7 years old. Children as young as 5 years old may use the medication to prevent flu symptoms.
To make sure Relenza is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , or any other chronic lung condition.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, getting sick with influenza during pregnancy can cause complications leading to birth defects, low birth weight, preterm delivery, or stillbirth. Your doctor will decide whether you should use zanamivir if you are pregnant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women may receive a yearly flu vaccine to prevent influenza. Relenza is not to be used in place of the yearly flu shot.
It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
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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
Who Should Avoid Taking Theraflu
Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking Theraflu or any OTC cold and flu medication. There are certain people that need to be extra careful when it comes to cold medicines.
Discuss whether Theraflu with your healthcare provider first if you have any of the following conditions:
Youre pregnant or nursing
You have liver problems
You have diabetes
Theraflu is only for adults and children ages 12 years and older. Dont take Theraflu with other OTC medications that have the same or similar ingredients. Some ingredients, like acetaminophen, are harmful when taken in large doses. Check with your healthcare provider if your cold or flu symptoms are severe or dont get better in 7 to 10 days.
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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 Flu.gov or to the CDC and WHO websites.
Which Medication Is More Effective
Both of these medications will help you feel better about 1 to 2 days faster than if you didnt take anything. Experts have found that people who take Xofluza feel better about 8 hours faster than those who take Tamiflu, though those results were not significant . If youre looking to feel better as fast as possible, Xofluza might be the better option but not by much.
Unfortunately, however, all that glitters is not gold. After being approved by the FDA in 2018, scientists are already seeing mutated strains of the flu that are resistant to Xofluza . There are also mutated strains that are resistant to Tamiflu, which was approved in 1999.
All in all, whether you take Xofluza or Tamiflu, you can expect about the same result.
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Will An Antibiotic Cure Me Of 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.
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.
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Treatment: What You Need To Know
- Can flu be treated?Yes. There are prescription medications called antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.
- What are flu antiviral drugs? Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu in your respiratory tract. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from your doctor or health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
How Should I Use Relenza
Use Relenza exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Start taking Relenza as soon as possible after flu symptoms appear, such as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Relenza is packaged in disk-shaped foil packs that contain 4 blisters of medicine. Each blister contains a dose of zanamivir in a powder form. These disks are placed into a device called a DISKHALER that you will use to inhale the medicine. The device opens and loads a blister each time you use the inhaler.
To treat flu symptoms: Use 2 inhalations twice per day for 5 days. On the first day of treatment, space your doses at least 2 hours apart. On the following days, space your doses at least 12 hours apart.
To prevent flu symptoms: Use 2 inhalations every 24 hours for 10 to 28 days. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Do not use a nebulizer or ventilator to give this medicine. Relenza inhalation powder should never be mixed with a liquid.
If you are scheduled to use a bronchodilator at the same time as Relenza, use the bronchodilator first.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
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Combination Cough And Cold Medicines
Cough and cold medicines are often used for symptom relief however its important to know there is not enough evidence showing they work well, particularly in children.
Cough and cold medicines should not be given to children under 6. You should ask a doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner for advice before giving cough and cold medicines to children aged 6 to 11 years.
Cough and cold medicines often contain paracetamol, so it is important to check the label to avoid doubling up and taking other medicines that also contain paracetamol.
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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Paracetamol For Pain And Fever
Paracetamol can be used for adults and children over 1 month for pain and symptoms of fever. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.
Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist.
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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Other Uses For This Medicine
Fluconazole is also sometimes used to treat serious fungal infections that begin in the lungs and can spread through the body and fungal infections of the eye, skin and nails. Fluconazole is also sometimes used to prevent fungal infections in people who are likely to become infected because they have human immunodeficiency virus or cancer or have had a transplant operation . Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What Treatment Options Are Safe During Pregnancy
According to the Cleveland Clinic, natural remedies like saline nasal drops and warm salt-water gargling are ideal cold and flu treatments during pregnancy.
Vicks VapoRub and cough drops are also considered safe during pregnancy.
Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should check with their healthcare provider before taking any drug. While no medication can be considered 100 percent safe for pregnant women, the Cleveland Clinic lists the following as among those generally considered to be okay:
Note: Do not take the sustained action or multisymptom forms of these drugs.
As for the decongestant pseudoephedrine, the Cleveland Clinic recommends that pregnant women avoid it in the first trimester , while a review published in the journal American Family Physician concluded that women should use it only sparingly later in pregnancy.
For pregnant women with the flu, oseltamivir is the preferred medication because it has the best safety and efficacy record, according to the CDC.
The CDC recommends that pregnant women with a fever take acetominophen and contact their doctors immediately.
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Tamiflu For Other Conditions
In addition to the uses listed above, you may wonder if Tamiflu is used for certain other conditions. Here we describe conditions that Tamiflu isnt approved to treat.
Tamiflu for parainfluenza
Tamiflu isnt approved to treat parainfluenza viruses, and it shouldnt be given for this use. Human parainfluenza viruses cause symptoms similar to those caused by influenza virus. However, HPIVs belong to a different class of viruses than influenza virus does. For this reason, Tamiflu wont be effective for treating HPIVs.
If you have flu-like symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. They can recommend the best treatment option for your condition.
Tamiflu for colds
Tamiflu isnt approved to treat the common cold, and it shouldnt be used for this condition. The common cold can be caused by many different viruses that infect your lungs and nasal passages. The most common virus that causes the cold is called rhinovirus. However, Tamiflu doesnt work to treat rhinovirus.
While the common cold and influenza cause similar symptoms, flu symptoms are generally worse than cold symptoms. If you have cold or flu symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor. They can recommend the best treatment option for your condition.