Chicken soup is good for all, Tamiflu not so much …
(CLEVELAND CLINIC) Tamiflu® helps the body bounce back faster from flu.
This antiviral drug holds a lot of appeal, even though researchers say it can shave only one day from a typical seven-to-10-day illness.
Here, Matthew Faiman, MD, answers key questions about Tamiflu (oseltamivir):
Q: Who are the best candidates for this medication?
A: The best candidates are people at risk of complications because their immune system doesn’t work well.
For example, I would consider prescribing Tamiflu to those who have diabetes, asthma, heart disease or other chronic diseases.
Q: What are the potential complications of the flu for these patients?
A: People with compromised immune systems are at risk of developing a secondary bacterial infection. This can put them in the hospital. Using Tamiflu to help shorten the flu also reduces their risk of contracting pneumonia.
Q: Why would low-risk people want to take Tamiflu?
A: Some people would say it is worth taking this medication to reduce the time they’re sick, even if it’s only by a day or so. They look at it as a way to get back to work sooner. It may also reduce their risk of infecting others.
Q: Are there any downsides to taking this medication?
A: Typically, Tamiflu costs $75 to $150, depending on your insurance. Potential side effects include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. So you have to weigh how much that one day means to you.
Q: How do you obtain this medication?
A: You can only get it by visiting your doctor within 48 hours of feeling any symptoms. Once prescribed, take it twice daily for five days.
But better than any remedy is taking steps to avoid the flu. “If people can prevent the flu first and foremost, they do themselves a much greater service,” says Dr. Faiman. READ THE FULL STORY AT CLEVELAND CLINIC. Also of interest: 3 Reasons Experts Are On Edge About The New Flu Season