I Think I Have the Flu: Can Antiviral Medication Help?

I Think I Have the Flu: Can Antiviral Medication Help?

The flu, or influenza, is a viral illness that affects millions of people every year, leading to missed days at work and school, and even hospitalization for severe cases. 

Flu vaccines offer a strong first line of defense, but they can’t guarantee total protection. Once you contract the flu, you may be in for a tough ride unless you act swiftly.

At Monarque Health and Wellness, we believe that timely treatment can make a significant difference in how you experience and recover from the flu. Through our acute care services, our team routinely diagnoses acute conditions like the flu. 

Take a moment as we explore whether antiviral medication is effective in treating the flu, and if it’s right for you.

What is the flu?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Typical symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. It’s not the same as the common cold, which comes from different viruses and generally has milder symptoms.

The flu can spread quickly through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. It's crucial to diagnose and treat it as early as possible to minimize complications and speed up the recovery process.

Role of antiviral medications

Antiviral medications make up a class of drugs that inhibit viruses. These medications work by stopping the virus from multiplying, thus shortening the duration of the illness.

However, it's essential to note that antiviral medications are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. While they can't cure the flu, they can make the symptoms milder and reduce the risk of complications, making your recovery easier and quicker.

Types of antiviral medications

Several types of antiviral medications are approved for treating influenza, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

The most commonly prescribed antiviral drugs for flu treatment are Tamiflu® (oseltamivir), Xofluza® (baloxavir marboxil), and Relenza (zanamivir). Tamiflu is often the go-to medication for both treatment and prevention of the flu. It's available in pill or liquid form and is generally well-tolerated. 

Xofluza is a newer medication that requires only a single dose, making it convenient for many patients. Relenza is inhaled and is generally reserved for patients who can't take oral medications or have particular strains of the flu virus.

When you visit Monarque Health and Wellness, your provider recommends the most appropriate antiviral medication tailored to your symptoms and medical history. Our comprehensive consultations take into account various factors like age, health conditions, and the severity of your symptoms.

When to consider antiviral medication

If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, it's crucial to consult a health care provider like the team at Monarque Health and Wellness as soon as possible. 

High-risk individuals such as older adults, young children, and those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to severe complications of the flu and are strongly advised to take antiviral medications as a preventive measure.

Don’t make the mistake of taking the flu lightly; it can lead to more severe complications if not treated promptly. Antiviral medications offer a way to lessen the severity and duration of the flu, helping you get back on your feet sooner. 

If you’re dealing with flu symptoms, get in touch by calling our office in Ashland, Oregon, at 541-326-4777. Trust Monarque Health and Wellness to provide you with the timely and effective care you need.

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