Alternative Medicines Could Help Treat Flu, Save Tulsans Money

Thursday, January 22nd 2015, 11:09 pm
By: News On 6

With the flu going around, a lot of people are looking for ways to get better, faster.

We've all heard about Tamiflu, but even with insurance it's not cheap. Some experts, however, said there are ways to treat the virus and symptoms depending on how much you want to, or can, spend.

Dustin Stone is a father of three, and when one of his girls caught the flu, he knew it was only a matter of time.

1/22/2015 Related Story: Seven New Flu Deaths Reported In Tulsa County, 16 New Deaths Statewide

“It's part of having kids. They're at school, bringing germs home and passing it around," he said.

All five family members were prescribed Tamiflu, but, depending on insurance coverage, that can run you a pretty penny.

"You know, we knew it was not going to be cheap, getting five prescriptions for the flu, but when the pharmacy told us it was $500 it was kind of a shock," Stone said.

Some doctors and pharmacists said there are alternatives.

Dr. Chad Edwards with Revolution Health treats patients with vitamin IVs and nutritional advice.

"We find that a lot of people are vitamin D deficient and a lot of studies show that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with upper respiratory infections," Edwards said.

He also recommended supplements like vitamin C, Andrographis and EGCG found in green tea. Things you can find in your local pharmacy or health food store.

Pharmacist Chris Shiller recommended that, if you don't go the Tamiflu route, to drink lots of water and treat the most severe symptoms.

“You know you've got your Tylenol or your Ibuprofen; your fever, same thing. Nausea and vomiting, there are things over the counter and prescription that can treat those," Shiller said.

He said to always consult your pharmacist before self-medicating because you could be over doing it.

Regardless of preference or cost, dads like Stone, said if it helps they'll try it.

"It's one of those, I think your hands are kind of tied, especially when it comes to your kids, you're not going to, if it was $1,000 for a prescription you're going to try to find a way to go get it if that's what they need to get better," he said.

According to a map Walgreens released, Oklahoma ranks number one in flu activity in the country.

Medical professionals recommend that if you feel flu-like symptoms coming on, head to the doctor as soon as you can.