Swine Flu: Taking Care of a Sick Person (cont.)
Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for correct, safe use of
Antiviral medications can sometimes help lessen influenza symptoms, but
require a prescription. Most people do not need these antiviral drugs to fully
recover from the flu. However, persons at higher risk for severe flu
complications, or those with severe flu illness who require hospitalization,
might benefit from antiviral medications. Antiviral medications are available
for persons 1 year of age and older. Ask your healthcare provider whether you
need antiviral medication.
Influenza infections can lead to or occur with bacterial infections.
Therefore, some people will also need to take antibiotics. More severe or
prolonged illness or illness that seems to get better, but then gets worse again
may be an indication that a person has a bacterial infection. Check with your
healthcare provider if you have concerns.
Warning! Do not give aspirin
(acetylsalicylic acid) to children or teenagers who have the flu; this can cause
a rare but serious illness called
- Check ingredient labels on
and flu medications to see if they contain aspirin.
- Teenagers with the flu can take medicines without
aspirin, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and
ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®), to relieve
- Children younger than 2 years of age should not be given over-the-counter
cold medications without first speaking with a healthcare provider.
- The safest care for flu symptoms in children younger than 2 years of age is
using a cool-mist humidifier and a suction bulb to help clear away
- Fevers and aches can be treated with acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen
(Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Examples of these kinds of medications include:
||Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®
- Over-the-counter cold and flu medications used according to the package
instructions may help lessen some symptoms such as cough and
Importantly, these medications will not lessen how infectious a person is.
- Check the ingredients on the package label to see if
the medication already contains acetaminophen or ibuprofen before taking
additional doses of these medications—don't double dose! Patients with kidney
disease or stomach problems
should check with their health care provider before taking any NSAIDS.