Comparison With Existing Literature On Best Practice
Analysis of clinical trial results indicate that nasal saline irrigation shows possible but unclear benefits in relieving symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infection, but due to limited number of evidence of its effectiveness further large scale randomized clinical trials are needed . Current evidence suggest that using garlic, zinc and vitamin C possess rather preventive than curative effect against common cold . A variety of tested products, statistical heterogeneity of the results between different trials and questionable clinical relevance did not allow to support recommending echinacea , Chinese medical herbal products or Pelargonium sidoides extract for common cold treatment. The results of our study indicate that despite unclear clinical relevance of herbal or homeopathic products, they were recommended by the pharmacists in 1 out of 10 cases.
Most clinical practice guidelines of common cold treatment are country and organization specific. The most popular are the United States Center For Disease Control guidelines, which recommend treating this disease with a combination of the following medications: 1) pain relievers 2) nasal decongestants 3) cough suppressants 4) anti-histamines 5) expectorants . van Driel found similar results in their clinical review . Thus, the treatment is mostly based on symptoms presented by the patient, and curative treatment is not possible .
How Can I Help My Child
If your child gets the flu:
- Offer plenty of liquids. Fever and appetite loss are common with the flu, and can lead to dehydration.
- Encourage your child to rest in bed or on the couch with a supply of magazines, books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie.
- Dress your child in layers that are easy to add and remove during bouts of chills or fever.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and aches.
- You can give over-the-counter cough or cold medicines to children over 6 years old if your doctor says it’s OK. Follow the package instructions carefully so you give the right amount. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 years old because they can cause bad reactions.
- Running a cool-mist humidifier can help relieve coughs and runny or stuffy noses. Clean it after each use or at least once a day.
- Honey can help loosen a stubborn cough in children older than 12 months of age. Give 12 teaspoons of honey at night. Do not give honey to children under 12 months old.
- For a stuffy nose:
- For babies: Put a few drops of saline into the nose, then gently suction the mucus out with a bulb syringe. Do this no more than 23 times a day so that the inside of your baby’s nose does not get swollen or sore.
- For older kids: Give 2 sprays of saline nose spray 3 times a day.
If your doctor prescribes medicine to ease symptoms, call the pharmacist before you go to pick it up. In a severe flu season, some pharmacies might have trouble keeping the medicines in stock.
Natural Remedies: Herbs And Supplements
While there isnt a lot of research to support the effectiveness of herbal remedies for cold and flu, many people believe they can help. This is whats known as the placebo effect.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health offers this recap of research on a few popular natural products for cold and flu:
- Zinc Oral forms can reduce the length of colds when taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, but zinc can have side effects such as nausea and other gastrointestinal problems and may interact with other medications.
- Vitamin C Taking vitamin C regularly does not reduce the likelihood of getting a cold and has only a slight impact on the length and severity of an illness. People who take vitamin C only when theyre sick dont benefit at all.
- Echinacea Research does not support the use of this herb to either prevent or treat colds.
- Probiotics The scientific evidence is weak that probiotics can help prevent colds.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take Antibiotics To Cure A Uti
Whats The Deal With Cough Medicine
An occasional cough clears the gunk from your lungs. But one that goes on and on needs treatment.
On the shelf youll find tons of cough medicines with a zillion combinations of decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics/antipyretics, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Ask your pharmacist which, if any, would be right for you.
What Treatment Options Are Safe While Breastfeeding
Natural remedies like saline nasal drops and warm salt-water gargles remain great options for cold and flu treatment while breastfeeding.
In addition, the following options are among those generally considered safe, according to the Mayo Clinic, which recommends seeking input from a healthcare provider before taking any medication:
- Analgesics for Pain and Fever Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen short term use only
- AntihistaminesLoratadine and fexofenadine
- Pseudoephedrine use with caution, as it can decrease milk supply
For breastfeeding mothers with the flu, who are at high risk of complications, antiviral medications are considered safe. Oseltamivir is the top choice, according to the CDC, adding that very little of the drug ends up in breast milk.
Additional reporting by Pamela Kaufman.
Read Also: Can I Get Rid Of A Bladder Infection Without Antibiotics
Why Do You Need A Prescription For Oral Antibiotics
- Overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Taking oral antibiotics unnecessarily can cause harm to people and encourage bacteria to mutate into super bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This is why oral antibiotics are prescribed by medical professionals. They are trained to know when it is appropriate and necessary to give antibiotics.
- Different antibiotics treat different bacteria, and you would need to know which bacteria you were treating in order to correctly purchase an antibiotic over the counter. Something best left to people with medical degrees.
- Antibiotics have side effects and may interact with other medications and medical conditions. A medical professional can ensure you are not taking an antibiotic that is dangerous for you. They will also monitor any side effects you may experience to ensure you are not having a negative reaction to the medication.
The best flu medicine would be to rest and get plenty of fluids. Most symptoms of flu such as a fever, a runny nose, and blocked sinuses can be managed by acetaminophen and antihistamine medications. However, if the patient has a severe infection or is at a higher risk of complications, the physician may prescribe the following antivirals:
Antiviral drugs should be started within 2 days of getting sick to be effective.
Benefits of taking antiviral drugs include:
Which Antivirals Does The Cdc Recommend
The CDC recommends baloxavir marboxil , oseltamivir , peramivir , and zanamivir for flu. They are most effective when given within 48 hours after symptoms start to appear. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by one to two days if used within this early time period. Oseltamivir , and zanamivir are usually given for a period of five days to treat the flu. For flu prevention, they are typically used for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time. For prevention of flu, antiviral drugs may be given for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time.
Oseltamivir is approved for treatment in those over 2 weeks of age and for prevention in people ages 3 months and older.
Peramivir, given in one intravenous dose, is approved for people ages 2 and older.
Zanamivir, an inhaled medication, is approved for treatment of people ages 7 and older and for prevention in people ages 5 and older.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Kidney Infection Without Antibiotics
Ibuprofen For Pain And Fever
Ibuprofen can be given for pain and symptoms of fever in adults and children of 3 months and over, according to their weight. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.
Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma, unless advised by your doctor.
What Else Can I Do To Prevent Getting Colds And The Flu
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcoholic hand wipes. Cold and flu viruses are spread by touching your nose or mouth after touching an infected person, breathing in the air of an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or touching objects that have come in contact with the virus and then touching your nose.
Other prevention tips are to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of liquids , and avoid close contact with people who have colds. Also, get an annual flu vaccine.
Don’t Miss: Can Antibiotics Interfere With Birth Control
Is It A Cold Or The Flu
In the past, it really wasn’t important to know if your child had a cold or the flu since, in both cases, you just treated the symptoms. But now, since treatments are available for the flu, it can be important to know for sure whether or not your child has the flu. The flu should be suspected if your child has typical flu symptoms as described above, especially if he has been exposed to someone else with the flu. Testing can be done in many doctors’ offices from a throat or nasal swab, with results in about ten minutes.
If your child tests positive for the flu, or if testing is unavailable, but the flu is strongly suspected, then he may be a candidate for one of the flu medications described above. Other family members and close contacts might also be a candidate for flu medications to prevent them from getting sick.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Pneumonia can sometimes be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as for a bad cold or flu. If you think it could be pneumonia, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may diagnose pneumonia based on your medical history and the results from a physical exam. He or she will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Your doctor may also do some tests, such as a chest X-ray or a blood test. A chest X-ray can show your doctor if you have pneumonia and how widespread the infection is. Blood and mucus tests can help your doctor tell whether bacteria, a virus, or a fungal organism is causing your pneumonia.
Read Also: When Do Uti Symptoms Go Away After Antibiotics
Ways To Treat Flu Symptoms And Feel Better
If youâre searching the web for flu treatment, you probably arenât feeling too well right about now. Hereâs the bad news: thereâs no cure for it and it usually lasts for one to two weeks. And just because you have the flu doesnât mean you wonât get it again, since there are many different strains of the flu virus. The good news? Just because there is no cure does not mean there is no way to feel better when you have the flu. There are several over-the-counter medicines available to you to help you combat the symptoms you feel while you are sick with the flu. And some medicines treat multiple symptoms in a single product.
Hereâs 10 ways to treat flu symptoms at home so you can get relief while your body fights the virus.
When you first come down with the flu, rest is what will help give your body the energy it needs to fight the flu virus and flu symptoms, which is why rest is one of the go-to recommendations for people suffering from the flu.1
Stay at home and rest, especially during the first 24 hours after becoming ill.
Consuming enough fluids is another regularly recommended practice for people who have the flu.1 Fever, a common flu symptom, is associated with dehydration, so it is important to get adequate amounts of water or other fluids to ensure that you stay hydrated while you have the flu.2
Whats The Best Flu Medicine
Since the flu is a virus, rest and fluids are usually the first line of defensenot antibiotics. The flu is not curable however, available medications can shorten the duration of symptoms, says Elizabeth Bald, Pharm.D., an assistant professor in the department of pharmacotherapy at the University of Utah.
If youre diagnosed with the flu, chances are that your healthcare providers treatment plan will only recommend that you drink plenty of water and stay in bed. However, some over-the-counter and prescription medications can alleviate symptoms.
RELATED: Flu symptoms 101
Also Check: Where Can I Buy Antibiotics
Drugs And Treatments For The Flu
Treating the flu mainly means relieving major symptoms until your body clears the infection.
Antibiotics arent effective against the flu because its caused by a virus, not bacteria. But your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat any secondary bacterial infection that may be present. Theyll likely recommend some combination of self-care and medication to treat your symptoms.
People who are at high risk for flu complications should seek immediate medical attention. High-risk groups include:
- adults ages 65 years and older
- women who are pregnant or up to 2 weeks postpartum
- people who have weakened immune systems
In most cases, however, the flu just needs to run its course. The best treatments for people with the flu are lots of rest and plenty of fluids.
You may not have much of an appetite, but its important to eat regular meals to keep up your strength.
If possible, stay home from work or school. Dont go back until your symptoms subside.
To bring down a fever, place a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead or take a cool bath.
You may also use over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Other self-care options include the following:
- Have a bowl of hot soup to relieve nasal congestion.
- Gargle with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.
OTC medications wont shorten the length of the flu, but they can help reduce symptoms.
Colds And Flu: Do You Need Antibiotics
- Colds and Flu: Do You Need Antibiotics?
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. UR Medicine Primary Cares Dr. Michael Gavin offers advice on what to look for, when to call to your doctor, and whether or not antibiotics can help.
With winter upon us and another rise in COVID cases, we are seeing more and more coughs and colds. COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. To make matters more complicated, were seeing a return of non-COVID viruses such as RSV, Coxsackie , as well as stomach viruses. While there is a significant amount of information on the internet, its hard to determine what to trust.
Hundreds of different viruses can cause colds. Unfortunately, its almost impossible to tell at this time without testing to determine whether someone has COVID, or if they have another viral illness. When in doubt, contact your doctor, or get yourself tested for COVID if you have a fever or higher, chills, severe body aches or fatigue, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, or diarrhea. For accurate updates on COVID, I recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the University of Rochester Medical Center webpages.
If you test negative for COVID and still have cold-like symptoms, remember:
Have a safe and healthy winter!
Recommended Reading: How To Combat Antibiotic Resistance
How Is The Flu Treated
The flu usually doesn’t need medical treatment. Sometimes, doctors might prescribe an antiviral medicine for some people who have the flu. This medicine works best if given within the first 2 days of the illness. It can make flu symptoms milder and shorten the illness by a couple of days. But it has some side effects, so discuss the pros and cons of taking it with your doctor.
Doctors don’t prescribe antibiotics for the flu. Antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viruses.
Can You Get Antibiotics Over The Counter
Some antibiotics are available over the counter, but most require a prescription from a doctor. Antibiotics are a class of medications used to treat bacterial infections. They are not used for viral infections. Antibiotics work by attacking and killing bacteria. There are many different types of antibiotics that target different bacterial infections.
Some medications are available over the counter prior to needing antibiotics. For example, the over the counter medication, Azo, is often used to treat urinary tract infection symptoms. Sometimes this medication is enough to keep the infection at bay, but sometimes antibiotics are needed to treat and cure the infection.
Which antibiotics are available over the counter? Let uss take a closer look.
Also Check: What Can Treat The Flu
Recommended Reading: Do Antibiotics Help With Allergies
Replace Lost Fluids And Electrolytes
When you have viral gastroenteritis, you need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration or treat mild dehydration. You should drink plenty of liquids. If vomiting is a problem, try sipping small amounts of clear liquids.
Most adults with viral gastroenteritis can replace fluids and electrolytes with liquids such as
Eating saltine crackers can also help replace electrolytes.
If your child has viral gastroenteritis, you should give your child an oral rehydration solutionsuch as Pedialyte, Naturalyte, Infalyte, and CeraLyteas directed to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Oral rehydration solutions are liquids that contain glucose and electrolytes. Talk with a doctor about giving these solutions to your infant. Infants should drink breast milk or formula as usual.
Older adults, adults with a weakened immune system, and adults with severe diarrhea or symptoms of dehydration should also drink oral rehydration solutions.