What Are Some Treatments for Influenza?


Quick Answer

The Mayo Clinic explains that bed rest and drinking plenty of liquids are often all that are needed to treat influenza. In certain situations, doctors may prescribe antiviral medications, such as zanamivir or oseltamivir. These drugs can help prevent serious complications from occurring and may shorten the duration of the illness by a day or two. Side effects of antiviral drugs include vomiting and nausea.

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Full Answer

According to WebMD, common treatments for influenza symptoms include using oral or nasal-spray decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants, and medicated sore throat lozenges and gargles. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen can help to relieve pain and reduce fever.

Influenza, often referred to as the "flu," is a common viral infection that affects all areas of the respiratory system, including the lungs, nose and throat, explains the Mayo Clinic. In severe cases, influenza complications are deadly. People at a high risk of suffering from influenza complications include senior citizens, young children, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems and people suffering from chronic illnesses. Annual vaccinations are the best defense against influenza.

Antibiotics are completely ineffective at treating influenza symptoms as antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections, notes WebMD. If a person develops a secondary bacterial infection in addition to the influenza virus, antibiotics may be prescribed.

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