Prescription and Over-the-Counter Flu Medications

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Posted on

If you have ever had the flu, you know just how down and out you can feel. Besides feeling like a zombie, the most common symptoms of the flu include chills, fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headache or vomiting and diarrhea.

With flu season peaking as early as December, it’s important to know the common signs and symptoms, and what can be done to decrease your days spent sick and in bed. We have some useful information to help you detect and beat the flu faster!

Is the flu caused by bacteria?

No, the flu is caused by various types of viruses.

Will an antibiotic cure me of the flu?

No, antibiotics are used to get rid of bacteria and do not work on viruses like the flu.

How is the flu virus spread?

The flu virus is spread from person-to-person via respiratory droppings from sneezing, coughing, talking or touching.

Is there a way to treat the flu?

If you can see your doctor within 48 hours of your flu symptoms appearing, your doctor may treat you with an antiviral like Tamiflu or Relenza. These antivirals fight the flu virus in the body which may lessen symptoms and shorten the time that you are sick.

Are there over-the-counter treatments for the flu?

Unfortunately, no. There is nothing you can get over-the-counter (OTC) to treat the flu. There are, however, some over-the-counter items you can get to help manage the pesky flu symptoms! Here are some drugs that might be helpful for certain symptoms:

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