Flu Medicine Treatments For Relieving All Your Flu Symptoms: The flu is a common and generally harmless illness. However, in some rare cases, the flu can lead to hospitalization or even death. It is especially deadly among people living with chronic health problems, older adults, and young children. It’s, therefore, important that you learn how to listen to your body and get medical care if you are experiencing flu symptoms. Some of the symptoms associated with flu are fever, aches, chills and feeling wiped out or physically sick.
What should I do if I realize I have the flu?
The first step in treating the flu is taking good care of yourself. If you notice symptoms of flu, doctors advise that you eat healthily, take more fluids and rest. A fever can dehydrate your body and be drinking more fluids helps replace what you are losing. When you have the flu, you don’t feel like moving around. It is okay to give your body a rest and only get up when you feel you can. If you have a hacking cough, body aches, fever, or chest congestion, don’t exercise because your body isn’t fit for a workout.
Most people take over-the-counter drugs to treat flu. Pharmacists stock many types of flu medicines. It is essential to know about the different types of flu medicines available before you can decide on the best medicine to help relieve your symptoms.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
The common early symptoms of the flu are body ache, fever, and chills. The best way to treat these symptoms is by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. NSAIDs include drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. They are the best over-the-counter drugs for tackling flu symptoms. However, NSAIDs have contraindications and can be fatal to people with liver problems. If you are suffering from a heart disease or have risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol, NSAIDs can increase the chance of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Antihistamines go after a chemical known as histamine. Histamine is produced by the body when you have an allergic reaction. Antihistamines are available in oral pills and nasal sprays and can be very useful for relieving flu symptoms. They are also used to combat allergic reactions or treat allergies.
In pill form, antihistamines help to reduce sneezing and mucus production. They are also good for relieving watery eyes and a runny nose. As a nasal spray, antihistamines help with a runny or itchy nose, congestion, and postnasal drip. Antihistamines are very effective in drying up a running nose but can at times dry your nose too much. Antihistamines can also interact with some medications, such as seizure medications and antidepressants.
Flu can make you develop an annoying cough. Cough suppressants can help ease your cough. The best flu medicine for suppressing a cough contains dextromethorphan (DM). DM is an ingredient in flu medicine that blocks the cough reflex.
If you are taking cough suppressants that contain DM, you should be careful to follow the prescription since this drug can cause memory loss, impaired speech, blurred vision, and dizziness if you overdose.
Expectorants help to clear the lungs. Clearing of the lungs is very important because if mucus is allowed to stay in the lungs, you can develop pneumonia. The most common ingredient in expectorants is guaifenesin. It loosens mucus in the lungs making it easier for you to cough and get rid of the mucus. Examples of expectorants are Robitussin and Mucinex.
Oral decongestants contain phenylephrine which relieves the congestion caused by flu. Oral decongestants shrink blood vessels to reduce the amount of blood flowing through the swollen tissue in the nose so that air can pass through easily. A good example of oral decongestants is Sudafed. This medication is effective but it comes with side effects including nervousness, dizziness, and sleeplessness.
Mentholated salve helps with breathing, reducing pain and suppressing coughs. Vicks VapoRub is a great mentholated salve which is available as a vaporizer and chest rub. Rubbing mentholated salve on your neck or chest opens breathing passages while its mild numbing ingredients relieve pain.
Throat lozenges and cough drops
Cough drops and throat lozenges quell coughs and soothe a sore throat. Some contain menthol which opens up your nasal passages to help you breathe better. Throat lozenges and cough drops come in a variety of flavors and strengths. Although cough drops and lozenges don’t contain the medication found in cough suppressants, they are an inexpensive yet highly effective way of reducing coughing and keeping the throat moist.
Considerations when buying flu medicines
Searching through shelves of flu products for the one that will make you feel better can give anyone a headache. You shouldn’t just go for the drug with the longest list of flu symptoms inscribed on its box because you might end up overmedicating yourself with medicine that you don’t need. So, how do you determine which medicine will work best for you?
You should use drugs’ ingredient lists to determine which product will relieve your specific symptoms. Each drug has a list of the names and purposes of all the ingredients it contains. This way, you will only take drugs that treat the flu symptoms that you have. Whether it’s a cough, congestion, mucus, sniffles, postnasal drip, body ache, fever or any of the other flu symptoms, there exist appropriate flu medicines for all of them. If you have multiple flu symptoms, use combination medication to relieve them. It’s important to consult with your pharmacist to ensure you are only treating the symptoms that you actually have.
Read labels carefully before buying any flu medicine. Some drugs may have side effects that you would never want to have. While the side effects of flu medicines are low, they are not nil. To decrease the risk of serious side effects, follow all the dosage instructions.
Visit your doctor if the flu persists for more than a week or your condition seems to be getting worse. Signs that you are getting worse include developing acute breathing problems, severe chest pains, hurting when you swallow, being unable to get rid of a cough, and when a headache or congestion refuses to go away. These may be signs of a more serious health problem and should be checked by a doctor.