Safe Medications For The Flu During Pregnancy
While many of the medications you used to reach for before you became pregnant are off-limits now, there are still some meds that are safe to take to relieve symptoms of the flu during pregnancy:
- Antivirals. Tamiflu and other antivirals are safe if prescribed by a practitioner who has diagnosed you with the flu.
- Acetaminophen. If you’re running a fever or suffering from nasty body aches or headaches, it’s generally considered safe to take products containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol. Just talk to your doctor about the proper dosing.
- Cough remedies. Expectorants as well as cough suppressants as well as most cough drops are considered safe during pregnancy, but ask your practitioner about whether they’re okay for you and about dosing.
- Some nasal sprays. Most steroid-containing nasal sprays are fine to use during pregnancy, but check with your doctor about brands and dosing. Plain saline drops and sprays are always safe to take when you’re expecting and can help clear and moisturize a stuffy nose.
- Some antihistamines. Benadryl and Claritin often get the green light during pregnancy, but be sure to check with your practitioner before taking them. Some doctors will advise staying away from those medications in the first trimester.
Remember: Never take any medication without consulting with a doctor who knows youre expecting.
What Should I Do If I Get Sick
Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider .
Certain people are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications . For a full list of people at increased risk of flu-related complications, see People at Higher Risk of Developing FluRelated Complications. If you are in a higher-risk group and develop flu symptoms, its best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your higher-risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at higher risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- you’re worried about your baby’s or child’s symptoms
- you’re 65 or over
- you’re pregnant
- you have a long-term medical condition for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
- you have a weakened immune system for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
- your symptoms do not improve after 7 days
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
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How Should I Take Tamiflu
Take Tamiflu exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Take the capsule with a full glass of water.
Shake the oral suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
Tamiflu may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.
To treat flu symptoms: Take Tamiflu every 12 hours for 5 days.
To prevent flu symptoms: Take Tamiflu every 24 hours for 10 days or as prescribed. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Store capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Store liquid medicine in the refrigerator but do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 17 days.
The liquid may also be stored at cool room temperature for up to 10 days
Is The Brat Diet Right For The Flu
You may remember Moms long-ago advice that when youre sick, you should follow the BRAT Diet, which stands for bananas, rice, apples and toast low-fiber foods that will soothe your stomach.
These plain foods are easy for the body to digest and are often recommended when someone is not feeling well. But this diet is actually associated with the stomach flu , not with influenza.
Still, it might be appealing when youre sick with the flu. The BRAT Diet wont provide you a ton with vitamins and nutrients, Dr. Vyas says, but its easy on your body, so if it feels good and its what you want, go for it.
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Preventing The Spread Of Flu
You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures.
Always wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as:
- regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
- using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious. You should stay off work or school until you’re feeling better.
In some people at risk of more serious flu, an annual flu vaccine or antiviral medication may be recommended to help reduce the risk of becoming infected.
- difficulty sleeping
Can I Skip The Flu Shot And Take Tamiflu Instead
Nopethe drug is not a substitute for early flu vaccination, according to the drugs manufacturer. Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Your protection lasts through the entire season. Plus, Tamiflu is expensive. Consumer Reports quoted the cost of a five-day course as at least $100.
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Foods To Avoid When You Have The Flu
Just as important as what you should eat when you have the flu is what you should avoid eating.
- Alcohol weakens your immune system and can make it harder to fight the flu.
- Caffeine can further dehydrate you, so avoid coffee, black tea, soda and the like. Caffeine is also a stimulant and when your bodys already working hard to fight the flu, you dont want to add anything that might take away from its ability to do that, Dr. Vyas says.
- Dairy products can thicken mucus, which will compound your congestion.
- Sugar cause inflammation, which your body is trying extra-hard to fight off when you have the flu.
- Spicy foods can trigger a runny nose, which you may already be fighting when you have the flu. When youre starting to feel better, incorporate a little bit of horseradish or pepper into your diet to help clear out congestion but shy away in the thick of your sickness, Dr. Vyas says.
What’s The Difference Between The Flu And The Stomach Flu
Dont confuse influenza with the stomach flu . Thats caused by a variety of other viruses that don’t include influenza and leads to severe diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes with fever.
Though influenza can come with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, there are other symptoms like body aches, fever, chills, sore throat and congestion or cough that don’t accompany stomach viruses. Plus gastroenteritis usually goes away much faster.
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Check If You Have Flu
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- a sudden high temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick and being sick
The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe.
|Appears quickly within a few hours||Appears gradually|
|Affects more than just your nose and throat||Affects mainly your nose and throat|
|Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal||Makes you feel unwell, but you’re OK to carry on as normal|
The Flu Shot And Covid
An important update regarding timing between receiving the flu and COVID-19 vaccines for all Victorians including those most vulnerable in our community.
The original recommended timing between receipt of the 2 vaccines was a preferred minimum interval of 2 weeks .
Based on the latest medical advice the preferred minimum interval between vaccinations for COVID-19 and the flu is now 7 days.
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When Should You Call For Help
anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if after getting the flu vaccine:
- You have symptoms of a severe reaction to the flu vaccine. Symptoms of a severe reaction may include:
- Severe difficulty breathing.
- Sudden raised, red areas all over your body.
- Severe lightheadedness.
or seek immediate medical care if after getting the flu vaccine:
- You think you are having a reaction to the flu vaccine, such as a new fever.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
Foods High In Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C help . Those with the highest levels of vitamin C include:
- sweet or hot peppers of any color
- oranges and orange juice
Many fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are also excellent sources of flavonoids, which are compounds that can provide a wide range of health benefits. For example, flavonoids may help of upper respiratory tract infections.
Beyond the foods listed above, good sources of both vitamin C and flavonoids include:
- other citrus fruits, such as lemons
- red, blue, or purple berries
- red or purple grapes
- raw, dark leafy greens
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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.
Which Treatments Should I Take For Flu Symptoms
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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What Happens If You Get Two Flu Shots
Unfortunately, getting two flu shots wont somehow provide you with double protection against the flu vaccines dont work like that. Thats why the CDC recommends that most people get a single dose of the vaccine each season.
According to The New York Times, getting a booster dose of the flu shot is associated with an increased risk of adverse reactions, including fever, rash, shortness of breath, and pain at the injection site. Those possible reactions may seem very mild , but if getting two doses of the same vaccine doesnt double your immunity and even slightly increases the risk of adverse reactions, it makes sense to skip the second shot.
Its also a good idea to limit handshakes and other forms of physical contact during flu season.
How Does The Flu Shot Protect You
The flu shot prompts your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific strain of the flu. If youre exposed to this particular flu virus later, youll already have antibodies ready to fight off the virus.
It usually takes about 2 weeks to build up your immunity to a flu virus after youve been vaccinated against it.
Youll have the most antibodies 1 to 2 months later. After this time, your protection begins to decline. Thats why you need a flu shot every year.
Each years vaccine is based on which strains are most likely to spread during that flu season.
The vaccine wont protect you from every strain. But if you do get sick, itll likely be less severe due to the vaccine.
The 2020-21 flu season may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of these two viral illnesses threatens to overburden hospitals, which typically get an influx of patients who have complications from the seasonal flu.
Getting your flu shot can help lower your risk of flu complications that could put you in the hospital.
Most people have little to no reaction following the vaccine. Theres no live virus in the flu shot, so it cant give you the flu.
Some people have a temporary reaction at the injection site, such as:
Normally, you can get a flu vaccine at your doctors office, your local pharmacy, or even at a walk-in retail clinic.
Some employers even provide flu shots for their employees at their workplace.
- Contact your
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What Else Can I Do To Prevent Getting Colds And The Flu
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcoholic hand wipes. Cold and flu viruses are spread by touching your nose or mouth after touching an infected person, breathing in the air of an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or touching objects that have come in contact with the virus and then touching your nose.
Other prevention tips are to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of liquids , and avoid close contact with people who have colds. Also, get an annual flu vaccine.
Which Foods Help Fight The Flu
Even when you arenât sick, you need protein to keep your body strong. Your body uses it to build strength and keep what you already have. Lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, and seeds are good sources.
The FDA says adults should eat 50 grams of protein a day . Pregnant and nursing women need more. Foods that have it provide nutrients like vitamins B6 and B12, both of which keep your immune system working like it should.
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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
Seasonal Flu: Symptoms And Treatment
The seasonal flu can cause severe illness or complications. Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious health conditions from the flu.
Flu is most common during the fall and winter months. Peak levels generally occur between late December and early March. There are many different strains of flu, and they tend to change each year.
You can avoid the seasonal flu by getting vaccinated every year.
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Considerations For Getting A Covid
Its safe for your health care provider to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. If youre 12 years of age or older, you may get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also get it any time before or after you receive the flu shot.
For children aged 5 to 11, the National Advisory Council on Immunization recommends a 14-day interval between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. This is to help better monitor for possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Provinces and territories will decide on an interval for this age group as part of their vaccination programs.
Talk to a health care provider or consult your provincial or territorial public health authority for the latest guidance.
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