Antiviral Treatments for the Flu
Antiviral drugs are prescription medications (pills, liquid, an inhaled powder, or an intravenous solution) that fight the illness, such as the flu in your body. Flu is usually accompanied by the following symptoms: respiratory problems, the runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, cough, sore throat, and fatigue. In some cases, there may be vomiting and diarrhea. It is important to realize that you or your child may be infected with the flu and only manifest some of the have symptoms without a fever.
CDC recommends that individual at high risk for flu complications be treated with flu antiviral drugs if they get sick with flu. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter and available by prescription from your doctor or healthcare provider only.
- Antiviral drugs are not the same as antibiotic drugs.
- Antiviral drugs are available to treat flu in children and adults.
- Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also may prevent serious flu complications.
- Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from the flu.
- Doctor’s instructions for taking these drugs must be followed.