What Are The Best Flu Treatments?
Every year, the flu virus hits again. And if you’ve caught this illness, you might wish you could sleep for the next couple of weeks to avoid the suffering. Between the stuffy nose, body aches, and lack of energy, getting more sleep is a great plan. Though that won’t save you from all of the discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways you can feel better faster, and not just by covering up your symptoms. There are over the counter remedies that can help with a cough and sinus congestion. Other therapies are available to help the virus out of your system faster and give a welcome boost to your immune system. Keep reading to see some of the best-proven methods for getting rid of the flu sooner.
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When you get the flu, your first step is usually more liquids and lots of bed rest. When your flu symptoms affect your day to day activities, you'll probably want to see what your doctor can do to help. Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, is the most commonly prescribed drug to fight the flu. It's an antiviral, which means it helps the body to fight the virus that is causing your symptoms. Tamiflu can help to shorten how long your symptoms last by at least several days and is most effective when taken shortly after you started feeling sick. Some people experience mild nausea and in rare cases those who are sensitive experience vomiting. However, in the majority of those who are prescribed Tamiflu, the symptoms the experience are milder and shorter than those who were untreated.
Other medications can be prescribed instead of Tamiflu. Relenza, also known as zanamivir, is an inhaled medication that can help to speed your recovery of the flu. Studies show that this drug is as effective as Tamiflu, and can equally shorten the length of time that you are sick as well as make the symptoms you suffer less severe. As with all prescription medications, make sure to talk to your doctor about any potential risks or side effects, since it may not be appropriate for everyone.
One of the most common, and most uncomfortable flu symptoms is sinus congestion. Some people get stuffy to the point that they can't breathe through their nose at all, and some people have runny noses for the whole time that they're sick. This can lead to sinus drainage, chapped lips because of breathing through the mouth, and loss of sleep, which is very important when recovering from the flu. Because of this major symptom, decongestants are a useful and effective choice when you have the flu. They work on helping the sinuses to be clear. Decongestants don't help the body's immune system or fight the virus directly, so they won't help you to get rid of the flu faster, but they will help you feel far better while you still have this illness.
While doctors will recommend prescription drugs, there are home treatments that have potential in helping you heal faster. First and foremost is the combination of plenty of liquid with lots of sleep. These are the classic recommendation that has helped countless people to heal faster since this is exactly what your body needs while fighting off this virus. Some people swear by other home remedies, such as eating lots of garlic or using sinus irrigation, and there is evidence that these can be helpful. Salt water gargling can make your throat feel better, as can lozenges with ingredients like slippery elm or zinc. Try using a humidifier or make a steam tent to loosen up sinuses, and have plenty of warm, healing soups.
There are a lot of pain reliever choices available today, but not every kind of pain reliever works for every kind of pain. The aches associated with the flu seem to respond best to acetaminophen, which is in Tylenol, and ibuprofen, which is in Advil and Motrin IB. Some people prefer Aspirin, though be aware that Aspirin is not recommended for children or teenagers because of possible side effects. If you have trouble falling asleep when you have the flu, make sure to choose a pain reliever that does not contain caffeine, since the caffeine can keep you awake. These types of pain relievers are usually best for migraines.
Getting the flu is no fun. It can mean stuffiness, fatigue, and body pain for several weeks, and this translates to lost productivity and a decrease in your quality of life. You don't have to suffer for as long or with the worst of the symptoms. Treatments are available, both from prescriptions and from home remedies that can have you feeling better faster. Make sure to choose therapies that are backed by science, since many disreputable companies are willing to make a buck from other peoples' sickness.