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THOUSANDS of lives could be saved every year if doctors dished out life-saving antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid, an inhaled powder, or an intravenous solution) that fight against the flu in your body. Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).
It's very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu (for example, people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with the flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a high risk medical condition. Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatments when they are started within 2 days of getting sick.
If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu in your body. When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. Some side effects have been associated with the use of flu antiviral drugs, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, runny or stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, headache and some behavioral side effects. Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick.
To treat the flu, Tamiflu® and Relenza® are usually prescribed for 5 days, although people hospitalized with the flu may need the medicine for longer than 5 days. It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu (for example people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with the flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a high risk medical condition. This entry was posted in What You Need To Know and tagged behavioral side effects., Capital Care Network, CDC, cough, diarrhea, dizziness, Flu, Flu symptoms, flu vaccine, Food and Drug Administration, headache, Influenza, Influenza Antiviral Drugs, nausea, oseltamivir, Relenza, runny or stuffy nose, Tamiflu, vomiting, zanamivir. Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
However, 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 (for example, hospitalized patients). There are prescription medications called “antiviral drugs” that can be used to treat influenza illness. Check with your doctor promptly if you have a high risk condition (see box on next page for full list of high risk conditions) and you get flu symptoms. However, 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.

The brand names for these are Tamiflu® (generic name oseltamivir) and Relenza® (generic name zanamivir). This is commonly called the flu, but many different illnesses cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, aches and pains, cough, and sore throat. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.
Llame al 1-800-CDC-INFO si tiene preguntas sobre la influenza estacional, cuyas respuestas no ha encontrado en este sitio. Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
For people with a high risk medical condition, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay. Your doctor can give you more information about these drugs or you can check the CDC or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) websites. Influenza can cause different illness patterns, ranging from mild common cold symptoms, to typical flu, to life-threatening pneumonia, bacterial infections and other complications.There are a number of drugs approved by FDA for the treatment and prevention of influenza. Yearly vaccination is the primary means of preventing and controlling influenza.Antibiotics are used to treat illnesses caused by bacteria. Examples of illnesses caused by bacteria include strep throat, tuberculosis and many types of pneumonia. There is a risk that you may develop pneumonia (inflammation of your lungs), bronchitis or other complications.
Information from Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) on general vaccine topics, including influenza vaccines.Seasonal Flu. Usually, uncomplicated influenza gets better with or without treatment but may cause substantial discomfort and limit activities while it lasts. Complications of influenza can include bacterial infections, viral pneumonia, and cardiac and other organ system abnormalities.
People with chronic medical conditions (including obesity), children younger than 2 years old, patients 65 years and older, and pregnant women may be at increased risk for complications.Many other diseases, including rapidly progressive bloodstream infections, may start with symptoms that resemble influenza, and may need to be considered in treatment decisions. These medicines can also reduce the length of time you are ill and make you less likely to develop any complications.
However, you need to start taking them within 48 hours of being exposed to the virus, or of your symptoms starting, for them to be effective.
However, a negative test does not always rule out the possibility of an influenza infection, and positive tests do not exclude the possibility of other illnesses or take the place of clinical evaluation.Many people with uncomplicated influenza use over-the-counter medicines, get rest, and take plenty of fluids to lessen their symptoms. There have been reports of people with other types of infections that got worse because they were treated only for influenza and not for the other infections. Influenza viruses can become resistant to specific anti-influenza antiviral drugs, and all of these drugs have side effects.

If you experience new symptoms during treatment or your symptoms persist or get worse during treatment, see your health care professional.If a new variety of influenza is transmitted rapidly it can cause widespread illness known as a pandemic. They are used in addition to vaccine in public health planning for the control of influenza. But many strains of influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 influenza, are now resistant to these two drugs. Decisions to use these drugs should be based on individual evaluations of risk and benefit. Report serious adverse events associated with these or any other drug to the MedWatch program.Influenza viruses change over time.
Other factors (such as viral virulence) might diminish the clinical benefit of antiviral drugs. This then stops the virus being released from infected cells and therefore reduces multiplication of the virus inside your body. To prevent flu, you will need to take a capsule once a day for 10 days after exposure to the virus or for up to six weeks during an epidemic. Examples of such conditions include asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Since early 2008, there have been reports from several countries in Europe, including the UK, of strains of influenza A that are resistant to oseltamivir. This includes adults and children (over six months) who: have a long-term lung disease, such as asthma have long-term heart, liver or kidney disease have diabetes have a weakened immune system have a long-term neurological condition, for example, have had a stroke are pregnant If you fall into one of these categories, speak to your GP about having the flu vaccine.
It’s also usually recommended for residents in long-stay residential care homes and for carers of older, disabled people. The usual time to have a flu vaccination is October or November, which is generally before the flu season starts. A flu pandemic happens when a new version of the flu virus emerges and spreads easily and quickly across the world. For example, pandemic H1N1 (swine) flu affected the UK in 2009, and oseltamivir and zanamivir were used to treat it in otherwise healthy people. However, until a flu pandemic starts, doctors can't be sure that antiviral medicines will work with that particular flu virus. There may be no guarantee of safety, quality or effectiveness of the medicines provided and potentially could result in serious harm.

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