When flu season arrives each year, people start to pay extra attention to hand hygiene and getting enough sleep. Those tactics can be helpful, but they are far from perfect for preventing an influenza infection. The usual recommendation to get a flu shot also falls short of providing perfect protection. So if you come down with aches, fever, congestion and other signs of a nasty infection, what can you do to help yourself recover from the flu?
Medicine to Help You Recover from the Flu:
Q. I have been washing my hands obsessively and have been very careful not to touch my face. But many people around me have been sick with the flu, including a co-worker who her dragged herself into the office despite a high fever.
I started with a little tickle in my throat Monday night. By Tuesday morning I was really sick with fever, aches, chills and a terrible headache. I went straight to the doctor and was prescribed Tamiflu, which I immediately started taking.
I was too sick to do anything but try to sleep for two days. By the end of the second day, though, the fever was gone and I started to feel a bit better. The next day I felt well enough to go to work and was completely recovered the day after. Thank goodness for Tamiflu! Many of my co-workers were out a lot longer.
Tamiflu for Influenza:
A. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) can shorten a bout of the flu by up to a day and a half. That may not sound like much, but it makes a difference when you feel as terrible as you did. A recent review from Germany concluded that “The benefits of antiviral drugs…outweigh their risks” (Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Nov. 25, 2016).
Side Effects of Tamiflu:
The most common side effects of Tamiflu include digestive tract upset and headache. Some people report psychological side effects. A rash requires immediate medical attention. You can read more about the pros and cons of Tamiflu, including side effects, here.