Who Should Not Take Antiviral Medicine
Some antivirals are not intended for children or for people who have serious breathing problems, such as asthma or COPD. But your doctor can prescribe the correct type.
Antivirals can cost a lotfrom about $70 to $100. They may not be worth the cost for people who are not at high risk from the flu.
If you get the flu, your doctor may advise you to take antivirals to treat the flu if:
- You are at high risk for problems from the flu because of your age or health.
- You live or work with someone who is at high risk for problems from the flu.
- You have been sick for less than 2 days. If you have been sick for more than 2 days, the medicine won’t help.
Your doctor may advise you to take antivirals to prevent the flu if:
- You are at high risk for problems from the flu because of your age or health and you did not get a flu vaccine.
- You live or work in a setting where there has been a flu outbreak, such as a nursing home.
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.
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.
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What Should I Avoid
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using a steroid.
Do not receive a “live” vaccine while using this medicine. Prednisone may increase your risk of harmful effects from a live vaccine. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella , rotavirus, yellow fever, varicella , one type of the typhoid vaccine and nasal flu vaccine.
Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking prednisone.
What To Do When You Have The Flu
So you think you have the flu. Unlike a cold, your symptoms came on suddenly, and they include things like: coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches and headache, chills, fatigue, and possibly a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. Dont panic. In most cases, the flu is a mild though unpleasant illness that passes on its own. However, it can be a good idea to confirm that you have the flu with your doctor. He or she can give you a professional diagnosis and treatment advice. In most cases, the best thing to do when you have the flu is to rest, take care of yourself, and stay home so that you cannot spread the virus to others. Over the counter medications like Tylenol Cold and Flu Severe may help temporarily relieve some of your symptoms, but they wont help the illness pass any faster. You should be sure to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. However, the flu is different from the common cold, and in some cases, it can lead to deadly circumstances. If you are feeling very sick, are very concerned about any of your symptoms, and especially if you are in a high risk group, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. He or she can assess your symptoms and may recommend antiviral treatment or other medical interventions as necessary. Your doctor may also recommend a flu shot for next year.
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Can Children Take Antiviral Drugs
Yes, though this varies by medication. Oseltamivir is recommended by CDC for treatment of flu in children beginning from birth and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends oseltamivir for treatment of flu in children 2 weeks old or older. Zanamivir is approved for early treatment of flu in people 7 years and older, though it is not recommended for use in children with underlying respiratory disease, including asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Peramivir is recommended for early treatment in people 2 years and older. Baloxavir is approved for early treatment of flu in people 12 years and older.
If your childs health care provider prescribes oseltamivir capsules for your child and your child cannot swallow capsules, the prescribed capsules may be opened, mixed with a thick sweetened liquid, and given that way. Learn more here.
What Are Some Ways To Relieve Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion due to a cold or sinus infection is uncomfortable and can get in the way of a good nights sleep. CVS offers a variety of treatments that can help keep you comfortable, including nasal spray and nasal congestion medicine. Many people may find relief with a decongestant nasal spray, which works directly on nasal membranes and may bring relief faster than a pill formulation. However, if you are looking to treat multiple symptoms that come with a cold or the flu, you may want to try a combination pill such as Advil Sinus Congestion and Pain, which is formulated with more than one active ingredient in order to temporarily reduce multiple symptoms such as congestion, body aches, and fever. Be aware that nasal congestion medicine may interact with certain prescription drugs, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any nasal congestion medication or using a decongestant nasal spray.
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More Advice About Flu And Flu Prevention
Reducing your chances of picking up flu germs will lower your risk of becoming infected. You should:
- wash your hands regularly with water and soap, particularly before touching your mouth or eating
- regularly clean surfaces which accumulate germs such as door handles and computer keyboards
- sneeze or cough into tissues
- dont leave tissues lying around, but instead put them into the bin as soon as possible
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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What Are The Benefits Of Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral treatment works best when started soon after flu illness begins. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen fever and flu symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by about one day. They also may reduce the risk of complications such as ear infections in children, respiratory complications requiring antibiotics, and hospitalization in adults. For people at higher risk of serious flu complications, early treatment with an antiviral drug can mean having milder illness instead of more severe illness that might require a hospital stay. For adults hospitalized with flu illness, some studies have reported that early antiviral treatment can reduce their risk of death.
What Is The Difference Between A Cold And The Flu
Colds and the flu are common seasonal ailments, both caused by bacteria and viruses that can affect your nose, sinuses, and/or throat. Colds come on slower, usually over a period of 2 days, and are characterized by a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes. Symptoms typically last 3 10 days. The flu comes on fast and symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, weakness, and fatigue. Symptoms of the flu can last 7 14 days and may continue for up to 3 weeks. If you are feeling ill, we always recommend that you visit your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and find out about the treatment options that are best for you.
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Who Can Take Antivirals
Antivirals are most often used to help control flu outbreaks in settings such as nursing homes and hospitals, where people who are at high risk for serious problems live close together.
Antivirals may be given to:
- People who are at high risk for serious problems from the flu, such as children, people 65 and older, and those with long-term diseases or a weak immune system.
- People who did not get a flu vaccine and who are in close contact with anyone at high risk for problems from the flu.
- People at high risk for problems from the flu who are not able to get a flu vaccine.
Doctors may also prescribe antivirals for anyone who is diagnosed with the flu within the first 2 days of illness. This may help shorten the course of the flu and help prevent its spread.
What To Take For The Flu
Over the counter cold and flu medicine may help you feel more comfortable by temporarily controlling your symptoms. The right flu medicine for you will depend on your symptoms. For body aches or a fever, you can take a pain reliever such as Advil to help relieve your pain and lower your fever. To get temporary relief from an unproductive, constant cough, you may want to try an over the counter cough medicine. A decongestant pill or nasal spray may help with nasal or sinus congestion, while an over the counter antihistamine may help with a runny nose, postnasal drip, and itchy or watery eyes. For a scratchy throat, try warm tea or sore throat lozenges, which may bring some temporary relief.
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Who Should Take Antiviral Drugs
Its very important that flu antiviral drugs are started as soon as possible to treat patients who are hospitalized with flu, people who are very sick with flu but who do not need to be hospitalized, and people who are at higher risk of serious flu complications based on their age or health, if they develop flu symptoms. Although other people with mild illness who are not at higher risk of flu complications may also be treated early with antiviral drugs by their doctor, most people who are otherwise healthy and not at higher risk for flu complications do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.
Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a persons risk of getting serious complications from flu:
- Blood disorders
- Chronic lung disease
- Endocrine disorders
- Heart disease
- Kidney disorders
- Metabolic disorders
- People who are obese with a body mass index of 40 or higher
- People younger than 19 years of age on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- People with a weakened immune system due to disease or medications
Other people at higher risk from flu:
Side Effects And Risks
Tamiflu and Xofluza both contain antiviral drugs. Therefore, both medications can cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.
More common side effects
These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Tamiflu, with Xofluza, or with both drugs . The common side effects seen with each drug can also be symptoms of the flu.
- Can occur with Tamiflu:
Serious side effects
These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Tamiflu, with Xofluza, or with both drugs .
- Can occur with Tamiflu:
- severe allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis or a serious, life threatening rash
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Which Flu Treatment Works Best For My Cough
An occasional cough may clear the lung of pollutants and excess phlegm. A persistent cough should be diagnosed and treated specifically. On the pharmacy shelf, you’ll find numerous cough medicines with various combinations of decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics/antipyretics, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Ask your pharmacist which combination, if any, would be appropriate for your cough.Ã Some research suggests that honey may help suppress a cough- but do not use in anyone under the age of one as it may cause a type of food poisoning called botulism in younger children.
How To Feel Better When You Have The Flu
You’ve stocked up on your cold and flu remedies from CVS, you’re resting and staying hydrated, and now you want to know how you can recuperate even faster. If you are more susceptible to getting sick during flu season, whether due to age or a compromised immune system, you may need more than over-the-counter symptom relief such as Tylenol. To feel better when you feel the flu coming on you may wish to speak with your healthcare provider about prescription-grade medications such as Oseltamivir or Tamiflu, to help treat your influenza within the first 2 days of getting sick. Combining a stronger medication to combat your flu along with hot showers, hot beverages, and gargling with salt water are all great tools to treat your seasonal maladies.
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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.
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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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
Plan To Stay Home For A Bit Especially If You Have A Fever
You should not go to work or school if you have the flu. If youre sick, you should stay home. You need to rest, and it can stop you from spreading germs around town.
Its particularly important to stay home if you have a fever, and for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away . Why? Because youre most contagious when you have a fever and the day after it breaks.
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Bonus Step: Get Your Annual Flu Shot This Year And Every Year
There are many reasons why you should get a flu shot, even if youve heard any flu shot myths to the contrary. When you get a flu shot, youre up to 60% less likely to get the flu, according to the CDC. And studies also show that if you do get sick with the flu, your symptoms will be less severe and youre less likely to need hospital care to recover.
Flu shots are typically available starting in early September, and its highly recommended that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated by the end of October. Its safe to get the flu shot while pregnant, so pregnant people particularly those in the third trimester of pregnancy should receive a flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
For kids between 6 months and 8 years old, whove never been vaccinated against the flu before, two doses will be needed. Its a good idea to plan to get the first dose as soon as the vaccine is available so the second dose can be received by the end of October. If kids have had a flu shot before, just one dose is needed.
Getting a flu shot is quick and easy. All you need to do is make a flu shot appointment at a time and clinic location that is most convenient for you. Since the shot takes just a couple minutes to prepare and administer, youll be in and out.