Medication for Viral Flu Infections
by Eric Smith
Influenza is a respiratory infection that is caused by a virus. Most flu patients get better with plenty of rest and do not need to take prescription drugs. However, vaccines and medications such as Tamiflu or Relenza can prevent infections, fight severe infections and relieve pain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, an annual flu vaccination can prevent most people from contracting the flu.
Tamiflu is an oral antiviral drug that deactivates a specific enzyme that influenza viruses use to grow. Children who take Tamiflu should be monitored for signs of unusual behavior such as confusion and self-injury.
Relenza is an antiviral drug that fights the flu virus and is breathed in via a nasal inhaler device. Patients with lung disease or asthma should not use Relenza.
Headaches and muscle aches can be relieved with a non-prescription pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Consult your doctor or pediatrician before giving any pain reliever to a child.
Aspirin may be used to treat the aches and pains of influenza in adults. Children and teenagers should not use aspirin as it can increase the risk of Reye's syndrome.
Influenza patients should get more sleep than usual and should drink plenty of liquids. And that old standby, chicken soup, can help relieve flu congestion.