H1N1-I Want a New Drug

istock_000001750425smallOne of the bad things about the flu, including the H1N1 version, is it is a virus. That means that it does not respond to antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections. A dose of amoxicillin or other common antibiotics may fend off secondary bacterial infections but will do nothing about the flu itself.?????????

So don’t go to the doctor and ask for antibiotics, for they won’t help. If you’re in a country that let you buy antibiotics over the counter, save them for something it might be helpful for.

medicine for swine fluThere are antiviral drugs, but their side effects tend to be higher than those in antibiotics and are usual reserved for very bad infections; if someone is sick enough to be in the hospital, antivirals like Tamiflu will be prescribed, but otherwise healthy adults won’t generally be prescribed antivirals. However, children under the age of two, the elderly and folks with immune disorders are on the CDC’s list of folks that are candidates for antivirals, since they are at higher risk of dying from bad bouts of the flu.

For the rest of us, the old joke about viral infections rings true; if you go to the doctor, you get better in 6-8 days, if you don’t, you get better in about a week. All the doctor can do absent antivirals is to treat symptoms. If you have bad chest congestion that is causing breathing problems, steroid shots or nebulizing inhalers can help. A visit to a doctor isn’t in vain, especially if you have serious enough problems that might require hospitalization, but don’t expect miracle drugs from Dr. Feelgood.

The old-school advice still holds; drink plenty of clear liquids, rest and STAY HOME; you don’t want other people to be feeling as miserable as you do. If you are having a lot of congestion, the mucus will be sucking up liquids, so you have to drink a lot of water to keep from becoming Pierre, the Dehydrated Frenchman. The mucus is helping clear those unwelcome visitors out, so keep the water coming.

Decongestants can help clear out your sinuses and lungs, but avoid antihistamines; they dry up your sinuses, but they also will tend to keep the virus in place. You want your immune system to get those viruses out of there, and mucus is how your system gives them the heave-ho.

Rate this post