Can Antiviral Medication Help Treat The Flu
Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help treat the flu. Antiviral medication can shorten the length of the illness and make symptoms milder. They can also reduce your risk of flu complications, which is why these drugs are often recommended for people who are at high risk, such as children, older adults, and people with certain pre-existing conditions.
Antivirals come in the form of pills, liquid medication, and inhaled medication. They prevent the virus from spreading in your body.
The following antiviral drugs are recommended for treating the flu in the United States:
- Tamiflu is a medication that’s approved to prevent and treat certain flu infections in people as young as 2 weeks old.
- Relenza is approved to treat certain flu infections in people 7 years and older, and prevent certain flu infections in people 5 and older. This inhaled powder should not be taken by anyone with a respiratory condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
- Rapivab is approved to treat adults with the flu. It’s given intravenously for 15 to 30 minutes.
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The best flu treatment is prevention. Getting an annual flu shot is the first line of defense against flu viruses. These viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine is updated based on which flu viruses are making people sick, how they are spreading, and how well the previous years vaccine protected against these viruses.
How Is The Flu Virus Spread
The flu virus is spread by respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing, talking, or touching. Experts say that the flu can be spread from person to person up to 6 feet away.
If you have the flu, you can spread it during the time when youre contagious, which starts 1 day before symptoms and lasts for 5 to 7 days after starting to feel sick. This means that you can spread the flu virus even before you are sick and also during the illness.
The best way to prevent the flu and lower the chance of having serious symptoms is to get the flu vaccine every year.
What About Long Covid
We are also still learning about long COVID. Babcock says Omicron hasnt been around long enough yet to have a good sense of whether it is different from earlier variants when it comes to the likelihood of lingering symptoms.
While the research continues to evolve, so far, it shows that vaccinated people are less likely to go on and have long COVID. Babcock says that new data shows that people who were vaccinated and got infected with a previous variant of the virus had a much lower risk of long COVID than unvaccinated people who got infected.
That’s great data because it shows that vaccination is protective, not just against getting infected and ending up in the hospital and dyingall of which are really good benefitsbut also, your risk of getting long COVID is much lower if you are vaccinated, she said.
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Natural Remedies: Herbs And Supplements
While there isnt a lot of research to support the effectiveness of herbal remedies for cold and flu, many people believe they can help. This is whats known as the placebo effect.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health offers this recap of research on a few popular natural products for cold and flu:
- Zinc Oral forms can reduce the length of colds when taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, but zinc can have side effects such as nausea and other gastrointestinal problems and may interact with other medications.
- Vitamin C Taking vitamin C regularly does not reduce the likelihood of getting a cold and has only a slight impact on the length and severity of an illness. People who take vitamin C only when theyre sick dont benefit at all.
- Echinacea Research does not support the use of this herb to either prevent or treat colds.
- Probiotics The scientific evidence is weak that probiotics can help prevent colds.
Fda Approved Drugs For Influenza
There are four FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs recommended by CDC for use against recently circulating influenza viruses.
Two older drugs, amantadine and rimantadine historically have been approved for treatment and prevention of influenza A virus infection. But many strains of influenza virus, including the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, are now resistant to these drugs. CDC has not recommended the use of amantadine and rimantadine for recently circulating influenza viruses, although recommendations could change if there were future re-emergence of specific virus strains with susceptibility patterns favoring such use.
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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.
Medications For Congestion And Runny Nose
When youre sick with the flu, you can also have a runny nose, stuffy nose, or both. If your nose is running constantly, you may think antihistamines will help most because they dry up extra fluid in the eyes, nose, and throat. While allergy sufferers find great relief from these products, taking them when youre sick with a viral infection might not be very helpful for your symptoms, especially if you take them for more than 2 days.
Several different antihistamines are available over the counter. Some of these, such as , cause a lot of side effects like drowsiness and dry mouth while not providing much relief. These side effects can be more intense if youre over 65, making you more likely to trip and fall.
The two most common OTC nasal decongestants are and . Pseudoephedrine, which is kept behind the pharmacy counter, is the more effective option of the two. Feeling jittery or having trouble sleeping are common side effects from these medications. Your nose might also feel dry while using them, so its a good idea to have some saline spray on hand to help with that side effect. Be careful with nasal decongestants if you have high blood pressure, as they can raise your blood pressure even if its controlled by medication.
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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.
What Medications To Get To Prep For A Coronavirus Infection
- Here are some tips on what medications and over-the-counter drugs to have on hand during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Get at least 1 month of prescription medications so you dont have to worry about running out.
- OTC medications may help relieve some symptoms of the coronavirus in mild cases.
All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub and follow our live updates page for the most recent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week the Food and Drug Administration announced that there is a shortage in the United States of one prescription drug due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The agency did not disclose the name of the medication but said there was a manufacturing issue with one of the drugs ingredients. The drug has been added to the FDAs shortage list.
The raw ingredients for many pharmaceutical drugs both prescription and over the counter are made in China, where many factories shut down due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Some of these plants have reopened, but as the COVID-19 outbreak continues, we may see additional drug shortages. So should you stock up on medications or OTC drugs?
We checked in with two experts.
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You’re Hit With Flu Virus Symptoms: What To Do Keep Our List Of 7 Flu Treatments Handyand Get Back On Your Feet Asap
Ughit arrives every year. Prevention, of course, is the goal, but if we fall prey to influenza, we need to know the most effective, reliable flu treatments to get us back on our feet.
Influenzabetter known as the flu, is a nasty viral infection that strikes millions every year, both in the winter and spring. If you have full-blown flu, you will likely feel very unwell and may be confined to bed for a day or three. And you may be lookinglike all of usfor the best flu treatments.
This flu season is shaping up to be bad one, if Australia is anything to go by. Flu is highly contagious and can spread through a workplace or school like wildfire. Though debilitating, flue is usually self-limiting, with most people recovering within a week or so. It is the young, the elderly, and the chronically sick who need to worry most about flu, for it can cause them serious complicationsand can even be fatal.
How Can I Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
In most cases, people with viral gastroenteritis get better on their own without medical treatment. You can treat viral gastroenteritis by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. In some cases, over-the-counter medicines may help relieve your symptoms.
Research shows that following a restricted diet does not help treat viral gastroenteritis. When you have viral gastroenteritis, you may vomit after you eat or lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet, even if you still have diarrhea. Find tips on what to eat when you have viral gastroenteritis.
If your child has symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, such as vomiting or diarrhea, dont hesitate to call a doctor for advice.
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Should You Stop Taking Medically Prescribed Cannabis During The Flu
If you already regularly take cannabis to treat a medical condition, it may be unclear what you should do if you get the flu.
Because of the lack of research regarding the effects of cannabis while infected with influenza, it is safest to stop using it while infected, according to Dr. Nedeau.
To be on the safe side, its best to contact the medical provider that prescribed your cannabis and let them know your situation. They will have the best advice on whether you should continue using medical cannabis while you are sick or if you should wait it out.
What Is The Best Medication For The Stomach Flu
Medications only treat stomach flu symptoms, but most people can endure a bout of stomach flu without medications. There is, then, no best medication for stomach flu, only a combination of drugs that decreases the risk of complications, reduces discomfort, and has a minimum of unpleasant side effects.
|Best medications for stomach flu|
|Two 2 mg capsules followed by one 2 mg capsule after each unformed stool||Constipation, dry mouth, flatulence|
Many of the standard dosages above are from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health . Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
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How Long Does The Stomach Flu Last
Most cases of viral gastroenteritis resolve on their own. A norovirus infection typically lasts one to three days, but rotavirus gastroenteritis can take up to a week to clear. Viral gastroenteritis caused by adenovirus or astrovirus holds on longer, typically taking five to 12 days to resolve. Gastroenteritis that lasts longer than two weeks, or chronic gastroenteritis, is usually due to a bacterial or parasite infection.
Learn How To Distinguish Covid
As COVID-19 remains prevalent in the U.S. and our community, many people have questions about the differences between the cold, the flu and the coronavirus how to know which of these viruses you have and when to seek medical attention. Although the cold, the flu and COVID-19 viruses have many similarities, there are also some important differences you need to know. Keep reading for more information.
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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.
The Problem With Too Much Acetaminophen
Nevertheless, you may not realize that acetaminophen is an active ingredient in a combination medication unless you read the label carefully. For example, NyQuil, Theraflu, and Percocet all contain acetaminophen. Unfortunately, using multiple products that contain acetaminophen can result in accidental misuse and overuse, as well as potential liver damage.
Acetaminophen is primarily processed in the liver. The liver breaks down most of the acetaminophen in a normal dose and eliminates it in the urine. But a small portion of the drug is converted to a byproduct that is toxic to the liver cells. If you take too much acetaminophen all at once or over a period of several days this toxic breakdown product can build up and cause damage to the liver.
In addition, there is some evidence that people with dehydration from vomiting or diarrhea, persistent fevers, or underlying liver problems may be at slightly increased risk of liver damage when taking normally safe doses of acetaminophen. The resulting symptoms of right-sided abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and general malaise may be mistaken for a worsening flu-like illness instead of being recognized as warning signs of liver damage.
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What This Means For Your Cold And Flu Season
Acetaminophen is a safe and very effective drug. The vast majority of all patients who take this medication to treat common symptoms of pain and fever will find relief with appropriate use. However, even when in the fog of cold or flu symptoms, be careful to read the label of any cough, cold, or pain medication for the amount of acetaminophen in the drug so that you dont inadvertently take too much. If unsure, ask a pharmacist for assistance in how to safely use combination medications that include acetaminophen.
Finally, keep in mind that in most cases, viral illnesses such as the common cold and flu generally get better on their own with rest, fluids, and time.
Supplies To Have On Hand During Illness
If you do get sick with COVID-19, you may not be able to leave your house for a while, so think about the other essential supplies that you need to have on hand.
This might include ready-to-eat canned or frozen meals, fresh fruit and vegetables, daily beverages like coffee and tea, and your favorite sweet treats.
King County, Washington, has a pandemic flu checklist that covers medications and other essentials such as bottled water and canned and dry goods.
The American Red Cross also has a checklist, which is similar to what they recommend for natural disasters.
But Bhowmick says unlike hurricanes and blizzards, which usually have a definite time frame, the COVID-19 outbreak will likely continue longer. Still, she says your coronavirus preparations dont have to be extreme.
Keeping some packaged food on hand isnt a bad idea, she said. I usually always have something at home regardless, but I dont think I will increase my supply in response to .
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Can I Take Acetaminophen While Pregnant
Overall, acetaminophen is safe to take while pregnant, and it’s the most common pain reliever that most doctors allow pregnant women to take when they experience common aches and pains. If you are allergic to acetaminophen or have liver problems, do not take it. Always ask your doctor if taking acetaminophen is safe for you during your pregnancy. If they say it’s ok to take, always take as little as possible, only when needed, and for as short an amount of time as possible. Taking it daily for long periods of time, usually for a period of about 28 days or longer, may increase the risk of your baby developing mild developmental issues like ADHD. Minor aches and pains like headaches, backache, and muscle pain are normal during pregnancy. Taking acetaminophen is generally safe, as long as your doctor gives you the all clear to do so beforehand.