Flu Facts: Antiviral Medications

Though it’s not possible to predict the severity of the flu season, it’s a guarantee that it’ll be here before long. Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.

thermometer-833085_1280In order to protect yourself, it’s important to get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine becomes available. This ensures that as many people as possible are protected. In addition to the vaccine, everyday preventative steps, such as avoiding sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs can help you stay healthy.

If you’ve taken those precautions and an influenza testing kit confirms you’ve still come down with the flu, antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), zanamivir and peramivir can be used to treat flu illness. Studies show that prompt treatment with antiviral drugs can prevent serious flu complications and can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

Treatment with antivirals works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness. Antiviral drugs are effective across all age-and risk groups.

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