Antiviral Medications

Why Antiviral Medications Are Important During Flu Season?

Antiviral medications are a category of drugs used mainly for the treatment of viral infections. While a broad spectrum antiviral is capable of effectively fighting a wide array of different viruses, most antivirals attack only certain viruses. Hence, when one is prescribed an antiviral medication, it is to fight against virus A, and not virus B, or C virus etc.

For the same reason, over 75% of doctors will prescribe an antiviral for their patients taking into account that there is little research evidence that shows that one form of medication is more effective than another.

The problem with antiviral medications is that unlike many other medicines, they do not just stop the virus from replicating, but also modify the genetic material within the virus to restrict further reproduction. However, like all medicines, antiviral medications can have side effects and should be taken as per the doctor’s instructions.

There are two main categories of antiviral medications

  • Macro Lenses
  • Anthracyclines

Macro lenses are known to be more effective and widely used than anthracyclines. Of these two types of medications, interferon, Valacyclovir and Amoxicillin are the most commonly prescribed.

While antiviral medications are used in the treatment of respiratory and mouth infections, they can be used to treat skin infections such as acne and genital herpes.

It is important that you seek the advice of your healthcare provider if you are taking any of the above mentioned medications as they may interact with any of the antiviral medications that you are already taking.

Although antiviral medications can prevent the spread of influenza viruses among humans, they cannot cure or treat influenza. They are however, highly effective in preventing severe symptoms such as

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Prolonging the time between outbreaks

Proper management can help keep you healthy and fit for the rest of your life. The most common antiviral medications prescribed to treat influenza include amikacin, famciclovir, quatrains and examine. A single dose of these drugs is usually sufficient to suppress the virus in most individuals.

However, if you suffer from recurrent bouts of influenza virus infection it is recommended that you take a course of double-acting baloxavir. Since baloxavir cannot be absorbed through the lining of the nasal cavity, it must be administered via inhalation.

If you fall into a high risk category – such as

  • Pregnant women
  • Smokers
  • Those with immune deficiency disorders
  • HIV-infected people
  • Those undergoing chemotherapy

You should get regular checkups with your healthcare provider. Your medical history will give your doctor an idea of any underlying medical condition that could be triggering your outbreaks.

It is also advisable that you stay well hydrated during influenza seasons to reduce the chances of developing influenza complications. You should also make sure you are getting enough sleep to boost your immune system. Once you start experiencing severe flu symptoms, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Common flu complications include

  • Fever
  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat

If your symptoms do not go away in a reasonable amount of time or if you experience more than the usual number of them it is time to talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility that your antiviral medications are not working. He may be able to recommend an alternate course of treatment.

If you are currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed with influenza, it is best to wait and see how your symptoms progress before deciding on additional medication.

However, in general it is always a good idea to seek medical attention if you are experiencing severe or frequent flu symptoms. Leaving influenza symptoms untreated can lead to severe complications.

In addition, some types of antiviral medications can make your symptoms worse. For this reason, it is critical that you understand the side effects of each antiviral medication.

Each type of antiviral medication has its own recommended dose and combination of vitamins and minerals to take. The most common types of antiviral medications used to treat influenza are Tamoxifen (Provestra) and Crixivan (Cralis).

Fluvax (Fluconazole) is also used to treat influenza. You should discuss the available flu treatments with your physician to determine which antiviral medications will work best for you.

With a little planning, you can effectively reduce the flu symptoms that can lead to higher healthcare costs, more missed days at work, and ultimately a shortened quality of life.

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