If You Have Difficulty Swallowing Capsules Your Doctor May Tell You To Open The Capsule And Mix The Contents With A Sweetened Liquid To Prepare Doses Of Oseltamivir For People Who Cannot Swallow The Capsules:
Continue to take oseltamivir until you finish the prescription, even if you start to feel better. Do not stop taking oseltamivir without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking oseltamivir too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be fully treated, or you may not be protected from the flu.
If you feel worse or develop new symptoms while taking oseltamivir, or if your flu symptoms do not start to get better, call your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
How Long Do You Need To Take Antiviral Drugs
Treatment length varies depending on the antiviral drug and viral infection. You may need one dose of an IV drug or a week of oral medicine.
People who have chronic ailments like HIV may take daily antivirals for life. This drug regimen keeps the virus from becoming active. It can prevent the virus from infecting others.
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.
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Will I Still Be Contagious If Im Taking Tamiflu For The Flu
Yes, you may be contagious . Influenza virus is highly contagious. It can spread easily through droplets of saliva, or when someone coughs or sneezes.
If youre taking Tamiflu, the drug will help fight the influenza virus inside you. But you may still be able to infect other people while youre taking the drug.
People who have the flu are contagious for up to 5 to 7 days after their flu symptoms begin. Even if youre feeling better, you may still be able to spread the flu during this time.
You can help lower the risk of spreading influenza by:
- washing your hands often
- covering your face when you cough or sneeze
- avoiding touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
- staying home when youre sick
What Ingredients Are In The Medication
Look at the label to see what active ingredients are in the medication. There are a ton of cold and flu products that people buy thinking there is only one ingredient, but it may be a combination product. Taking the lowest dose and least amount of medications is key, Dr. Erdos said. If you have a sore throat and a runny nose, you dont need to take a medication that controls a cough, for example.
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Start With Home Remedies For The Flu
As soon as you notice symptoms, there are a few things you can do to treat the flu at home while you monitor the situation or wait to talk with a doctor:
- Take it easy and get plenty of rest Going to bed early and naps are highly encouraged. Rest helps speed recovery.
- Stay hydrated Making sure youre getting enough fluids helps you get better faster and reduces risks of complications. Although you may feel like you dont want to eat or drink, try taking small sips of water, juice or broth regularly throughout the day.
- Try saline nasal spray If your symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, a saline nasal spray can help relieve pressure so you can breathe easier.
- Use over-the-counter medications to help lessen certain symptoms Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are often recommended by doctors to help reduce fevers and provide treatment for headache relief. However, if youre treating a child with the flu, its important to only give them medications that have been recommended by their doctor. You should never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have the flu since it comes with a small risk of causing the potentially fatal Reye’s Syndrome.
If youre wondering what else you can take for the flu, there are antivirals like Tamiflu that can be effective. Do you need a prescription for Tamiflu or other antivirals? Yes and well get to that in Step 5.
Who Should Get An Annual Flu Shot
The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following groups receive an annual flu vaccine shot between November and February :
- All people aged six months and older.
It is especially important for certain individuals at high risk of flu complications and those who come in contact with people at high risk of complications to receive the flu vaccine. These people at high risk include:
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- People who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver disorders and chronic lung diseases.
- People with a weakened immune system, for example, people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, or chronic steroid users.
- Household members and caregivers of patients at risk of complications from the flu.
- Women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season .
- Healthcare workers who come into close contact with patients in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare facilities.
- Infants and children ages six months through 18 years who are taking long-term aspirin therapy. This puts these individuals at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after flu infection.
- American Indians/Alaska natives.
- People who have close contact with children under five years of age for example, people who live with children, nannies and providers of daycare services.
- People who are morbidly obese .
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Know When To Get Emergency Care For Serious Flu Symptoms
Most likely, Steps 1-5 will be all you need to get over the flu. But influenza is a serious illness, so its important to watch for more serious symptoms.
Go to the emergency room if you, your child or another loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden dizziness
- Confusion or worse-than-normal mental function
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Loss of appetite or refusal to eat or drink
Children especially infants and toddlers can experience other unique symptoms that can indicate something more serious is going on. Go to the nearest emergency room if your child:
- Is less than 3 months old and has a fever of above 100.4°F
- Is between 3 months old and 3 years old, has a fever of above 100.4°F, and is showing signs of dehydration
- Has a fever with a rash
- Has skin or lips that have turned gray or blue
- Is extremely irritable
- Not waking up or interacting with you
Can Antivirals Prevent The Spread Of Viral Infections
Yes, antiviral drugs can keep you from getting certain viral infections after a suspected or known exposure. For instance, taking specific antivirals:
- During pregnancy lowers the risk of a mother passing HIV to her newborn .
- Daily lowers the risk of giving herpes or HIV to others or getting HIV from an infected partner.
- Within 72 hours of a potential HIV exposure can lower the chances of getting infected.
- Within 48 hours of exposure to the flu virus may keep you from getting sick.
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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.
Heres What To Do With Expired Cold And Flu Medications
You might be tempted to stock up on cold and flu medication, so you and your family are prepared the next time you get sick. But dont overdo itthese medicines dont last forever.
Erdos said, Just like its best to toss out food when it is past the expiration date, its best to discard medications when they have expired. Throwing away expired medication in your household trash isnt always safeso be sure to dispose of it properly.
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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.
Financial And Insurance Assistance
If you need financial support to pay for Tamiflu, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
Genentech, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, may offer assistance to help lower the cost of Tamiflu. For more information and to find out if youre eligible for support, call 877-436-3683 or visit the program website.
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Can Tamiflu Capsules Be Crushed Split Or Chewed
Tamiflu capsules shouldnt be crushed or chewed. But in some cases, the capsules can be split open.
If you have trouble taking Tamiflu, your doctor or pharmacist may show you how to open the capsules. Then youll mix the contents of the capsule with a sweet liquid and swallow it.
Your doctor or pharmacist may also prescribe the oral suspension form of Tamiflu for you. This form may be easier for you to take.
You may wonder how Tamiflu compares to other medications that are taken for influenza . Here we look at how Tamiflu and Oscillococcinum are alike and different.
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.
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Concerned What Youre Feeling May Be Covid
Both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu are highly contagious respiratory illnesses, which means they share some similar symptoms like high-grade fever, chills, cough, headache and more.
But there are some distinct differences, including how quickly symptoms set in, and cough type and severity. Also, there are some symptoms that are far more consistent with COVID-19 like shortness of breath or new loss of taste or smell.
If you want to know more, check out our post on . If you think you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can schedule a video visit to talk with a doctor about your symptoms and if you should .
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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Dont Drink A Hot Toddy
While alcohol makes people feel drowsy, it doesnt lead to good sleep and can contribute to dehydration.
Resting up and staying hydrated are both needed to help people recover from the flu. What more, booze can make people feel worse.
Flu can often make people feel very sick and that can include making people feel very delirious and something that can affect your thinking is not recommended, said Safdar.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
If you develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to stay home and away from other people unless they are providing you medical care until you have not had a fever for more than 24 hours .
Unless you have signs of a medical emergency, you do not need to go to the emergency room when you have the flu. If you must be around other people, wear a face mask to protect others.
If you have severe symptoms or if you think you might be in a high-risk group, contact your healthcare provider within the first 48 hours of developing flu symptoms. This will give you a chance to discuss your symptoms and determine whether you need to start prescription treatment.
What to do at home:
- You need to rest when you have influenza.
- You should avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, which can make your symptoms worse.
- Water and clear liquids are recommended to help prevent dehydration. You should avoid alcoholic beverages when you have the flu.
- For sore throat, a warm saltwater gargle or lozenges may help provide relief.
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How Effective Are Antivirals
A 2014 Cochrane review found that when given within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptomssuch as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and chillsoseltamivir lessens a persons sick time by about 17 hours in adults and 29 hours in children.
There may be some benefit in taking antivirals even outside of that 48-hour window. One 2013 CDC study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases found that children given oseltamivir within five days of getting sick experienced an improvement in symptoms.
They also had significantly less virus shedding, which means they were much less likely to spread the illness to others.
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.
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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 .
What Antiviral Drugs Are Recommended This Flu Season
There are four FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by CDC to treat flu this season.
- oseltamivir phosphate ,
- baloxavir marboxil .
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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