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:
- Fever and body aches can be managed with OTC pain relievers like Tylenol and Motrin.
- Sore throats can be managed with OTC pain relievers, throat sprays, throat drops like chloraseptic spray or demulcent throat lozenges. Tylenol, Motrin or Aleve may work as well.
- Coughs can be managed three different ways.
- A productive cough (with mucus) can be managed with an OTC expectorant likeRobitussin or Mucinex.
- A dry cough (without mucus) can be managed with Delsym. If that doesn’t work, there are effective prescription cough suppressants too.
- If you want a medicine that work for both productive and dry coughs, you can also try a combination product like Mucinex DM or Robitussin DM.
- Runny noses can be managed with OTC oral histamines or nasal sprays like:
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