Last of my flu series!
Think you’re infected? Now what?
🦠 The influenza virus itself cannot, CANNOT, be treated by antibiotics. Antibiotics treat bacteria, which the flu VIRUS is not.
🌠If you are a healthy adult, the flu resolves with over the counter symptom management:
-🤒 Take meds like NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc) for fevers.
-😷 Take cough suppressants to help decrease your cough.
- 😩 Take lozenges, do salt water gargles, and drink hot liquids for sore throat. Natural anti-inflammatories are ginger and turmeric. NSAIDs can also help the pain.
- 🤢Stick to broth or soups (with a source of protein) if you’re having gastrointestinal symptoms.
- 💦 AGGRESSIVELY hydrate!
-😴 REST UP. LOTS OF IT.
*there are prescription meds that can also help with the above symptoms*
🚨 Go to the ER for shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, change in mental status, not urinating, severely high fevers, and/or a worsening of s chronic illness
ANTIVIRALS - a small controversy
💁🏽♀️There are four FDA approved antivirals recommended by the CDC to treat the flu. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an oral tablet, is most commonly used.
👩🏽⚕️There are studies showing that IF you take Tamiflu within 48 hours of the start of your CONFIRMED (by a lab test) flu symptoms, it COULD reduce your illness course by 1-2 days... notice the capitalized letters?
🤷🏽♀️So, if your doctor diagnoses you with FLU-LIKE symptoms (NOT confirmed with a lab test), theoretically, Tamiflu may not help.
🙋🏽♀️However, if you have been EXPOSED to a confirmed case of the flu, Tamiflu can be used for prevention and could reduce your likelihood of getting sick up to half!
🤦🏽♀️Side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches and, more serious but rare, confusion and seizures.
In real practice, I see Tamiflu given out for unconfirmed cases. A lot. I get it. It’s hard to say no to a patient feeling like death who wants to potentially save themselves 1-2 days of feeling like death. The CDC and WHO recommend treatment. The above facts simply show we need more research to support our decisions.
Thaaaas it! Hope you all enjoyed it and learned along the way 🤓