Health One Family Medicine

How Can You Treat Flu Symptoms?

If you’re wondering what treatments can best manage the flu, you’re in the right place. Most treatments don’t target the illness itself so much as help relieve symptoms like a fever, coughs and aches.

Let’s have a look at some flu treatments that you can utilize to treat flu symptoms.

Treat Flu Symptoms

You should take flu treatments depending on your symptoms. For instance, if you have a runny nose or watery eyes, try taking an antihistamine. This will relieve irritating symptoms like itching, nasal discharge and sneezing.

Over the counter antihistamines could make you drowsy, so avoid using heavy machinery when using these.  If you’re suffering from sinus or nasal congestion, take a decongestant. These come in nasal spray or oral forms, and decrease the swelling in your nasal pathways, giving you some relief. Don’t use nasal sprays for more than a few days, or they could lead to rebound symptoms. Decongestants can also lead to restlessness during sleep, or hyper behavior.

Both antihistamines and decongestants could lead to bad reactions when mixed with drugs like the ones that treat heart disease. They could also worsen conditions such as high blood pressure. Don’t use these medications without first consulting with your doctor.

You can use saline sprays instead of medicated decongestants to loosen up thick mucus in your passageways without a rebound effect or harsh side effects.

What should you take for a cough?

There are plenty of cough medicines you can find over the counter, including ones with antihistamines, decongestants, cough suppressants and analgesics, among others. Use them to treat persistent coughs after consulting with your doctor or pharmacist.

What should you take for fever and body aches?

Use Tylenol (acetaminophen), Aleve (naproxen), or Advil and Motrin, both of which contain ibuprofen, to treat fever and pain. Consult with your doctor, as there are side effects associated with each of these options. Children under the age of nineteen should not take aspirin, and it’s important that you avoid an overdose.

What should you take for a sore throat?

Gargle with salt water and drink hot fluids in order to combat a sore throat. You can also use medicated lozenges and pain relievers for this purpose, but make sure to consult with a doctor before using OTC drugs. If the pain is severe, or your throat remains sore after two days, call your doctor โ€“ it’s possible you need antibiotics for strep throat.

Should you take antibiotics?

The flu is the result of a virus, and so antibiotics cannot help treat flu symptoms. Using antibiotics when you don’t need them could lead to an infection that might resist treatment with antibiotics.

Should you take antiviral drugs?

Most flu sufferers will recover themselves within a few days. However, if you’re someone at risk for complications from the flu, you may need to take antiviral drugs to combat the severity of your symptoms and shorten their duration.

At every point, consult with your doctor before using over the counter medication, especially if you’re treating a child.

To make an appointment with a physician at Health One Family Medicine, call (469)262-5762 or visit