flu

Flu Treatment

TamifluTamiflu

Flu is caused by the influenza virus and it affects the respiratory passages. It is highly contagious and causes a variety of symptoms including aching, fever and a high temperature, a runny or blocked nose

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What is influenza?

Most commonly named the ‘flu’, influenza is an illness caused by the influenza virus which results in unpleasant symptoms which include but are not limited to a high temperature, muscular aches, stomach pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, coughing and headaches. In children, side effects can include vomiting or an upset stomach, though this is less frequent in adult sufferers.

Once you are exposed to the virus, usually via a cough or sneeze from someone carrying it or from touching a surface where the virus is present before touching your eye or mouth, the symptoms can show themselves within around 48 hours. The illness itself may last around a week though there can be further illnesses which stem from the flu such as pneumonia or an infection of the sinuses

How effective is the influenza treatment?

If you know you have been around someone with flu and feel certain you could have contracted it, for example by taking care of a relative carrying it or being sneezed or coughed over by someone suffering from the virus, then Tamiflu may be recommended as an effective treatment for preventing the development of the illness.

There are 4 main strains of flu, A, B, C and D. Flu treatments on the market such as Tamiflu tend to be effective in treating or preventing strains A and B. Tamiflu is most effective when used alongside plenty of rest, staying well hydrated and avoiding alcohol as it supports your body in fighting the virus rather than simply leaving your immunity to do it alone.

As a prescription-only antiviral medication used to either treat flu or help to prevent it, it creates a barrier around the influenza virus invading your body which is causing the flu symptoms. This stops it from destroying any more healthy cells and slows down its ability to reproduce thus giving your body’s own immunity the chance to kill the virus before it is overcome by it.

Whilst it cannot stop bacterial infections which may develop due to the flu, such as a sinus infection, Tamiflu has been shown to decrease the length of an illness by anywhere up to 2 days and lowers the chance of developing lower respiratory tract complications as well as admittance to hospital by 44% and 63% respectively.

Is it safe to take the influenza treatment?

As an FDA approved treatment designed to help ease influenza in children as young as 2 weeks, this influenza treatment is considered to be safe, but as with any medication there are potential side effects. Most of these are mild and common without any danger to the patient such as headaches and nausea, but there could be potential issues to some people taking this treatment.

Some examples include those suffering from liver or kidney issues or respiratory disease. As well as this, if you are or could be allergic to oseltamivir or any of the ingredients in the medication, you should also avoid taking Tamiflu. For any concerns regarding the safety of this treatment speak to your Click Pharmacy doctor or GP.

What different influenza treatment are available?

Tamiflu, whose active ingredient is oseltamivir, is the most well known branded antiviral therapy available for the treatment of influenza though it is also available in generic form.

Other similar treatments available are Xofluza whose active ingredient is carboxyl and Relenza whose main ingredient is zanamivir. As with Tamiflu, they both work to treat and prevent flu depending on how and when it is taken.

Can I buy influenza treatment online?

You can receive both a prescription for the flu treatment and purchase it online via Click Pharmacy rather than visiting your GP and your pharmacist. By filling in a short health form, our experts can assess whether this medication will be the best option for you based on a number of factors. Once approved, you will be prescribed the treatment and can buy it on the site after which it will be sent via next day delivery.

Does the influenza treatment provide immediate protection?

Though not immediately, Tamiflu does get to work very quickly. It shows up in the blood within half an hour of the dose being taken and is found to be at its peak concentration with 3 to 4 hours. The drug works best when kept at a steady level of concentration within the body so whether you are taking it for prevention or treatment, ensure you take the product at the same time each day and try not to miss a dose.

What are the side effects of the influenza treatment?

Side effects vary and as with any medication, where one person may experience no issues at all others may find they struggle with difficult side effects.

Some of the most common side effects of this flu treatment are similar to the symptoms found with the flu itself such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and neurological changes including changes in mood or confusion. There can also be issues with sleep such as insomnia.

There are a number of rare side effects such as the potential for an allergic reaction which can show as hives or swelling of the throat, lips and/or tongue. If this occurs then seek medical help right away. Certain medications including vitamins and herbal supplements can create unsafe interactions so before taking Tamiflu be sure to discuss any other treatment you are currently on with your doctor.

It is worth noting that Tamiflu is not a substitute for the flu jab itself and the medication may affect the benefits of the jab with potential negative side effects. As such, let your Click Pharmacy doctor know when you received your jab prior to purchasing your treatment to ensure this does not occur.