Flu Medication Can Lessen and Prevent Symptoms

Friday, January 11th 2013, 6:14 pm

There is a medicine that can make the flu less severe and it works even as a preventative if you're around someone who has the flu.

Michele Brown and her 3-year-old son, Zander, both have symptoms of the flu.

It started in Zander, who got a full-blown case of it.

He was fine last Sunday, but woke up Monday morning with a 102-degree fever.

"He just got over pneumonia, so as soon as he had a fever, I took him right to the doctor and they tested him, and he was positive for the flu," Brown said.

1/10/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Health Department Reports Healthy Supply Of Flu Vaccine

Since his flu symptoms had just started, their doctor gave them prescriptions for Tamiflu.

It's a medication that comes in liquid or capsules and can take some of the punch out of the virus.

The downside is the cost - about $60 per prescription - even with insurance.

The upside is a less severe case of the flu.

"So he started taking it right away and he was very sick for two days and he started perking up after that," Brown said.

The medication helped Zander, who is still recovering, five days later.

The doctor told Michele to take Tamiflu, just because she was exposed to flu.

She started having symptoms, but believes the Tamiflu kept her from having anything more than a scratchy throat.

Now she's able to focus on her son and is still treating his symptoms.

"Trying to give him lots of popsicles and fluid, keep him drinking," Brown said.

1/10/2013 Related Story: Distinguishing Between Flu And Other Bugs Is Key To Treatment

Even though the whole family was exposed, Michele's two other children and husband didn't have symptoms and weren't given Tamiflu, because they had taken the flu vaccine.

She credits a quick diagnosis and prescription for helping her family avoid the worst of the flu.

Tamiflu only works if it's taken in the first 48 hours of catching the virus.

There are side effects, but they're not as bad as the flu.

It's prescription-only medication, so it's covered by insurance, just as the flu shot is, in most cases.


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