How is influenza treated?
How is influenza treated?two pills

There are now several drugs available by prescription to prevent or treat influenza type A or B. You must take medicine before exposure to the virus or, if you have been exposed, before symptoms develop. It can also be used to treat influenza but must be given within 48 hours after symptoms start. Using medicine can decrease the length of time you are ill and the seriousness of your symptoms but can also cause side effects like light-headedness. Your doctor can tell you more about side effects.

If you develop flu, there are things you can do to minimize discomfort. You can take a pain reliever (aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to reduce fever and muscle aches. Children under 18 should not take aspirin because it can cause complications to the liver and nervous system. A person with flu should drink plenty of liquids and eat normally as soon as possible to prevent getting dehydrated and to speed recovery. Bed rest is advised, and it is best to avoid over exertion until symptoms are gone. You should call your doctor if the symptoms do not go away after a week or so.

To learn more:

Over-the-Counter Medicines and HBP
(American Heart Association)
People with high blood pressure should be especially careful about what over-the counter medications they take. Read this article to learn more.
Key Facts About Antiviral Drugs and Influenza (Flu)
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))
A few drugs can fight flu viruses. Learn about these, when they can be used, and who should use them.

next » Where can I go for help and more information about influenza?

Last Modified: Monday August 16, 2010 2:43 PM