You didn’t get around to getting your flu vaccine and now you’re paying the price. You’ve got the classic flu symptoms; headache, fever, scratchy throat—the works. Your first move? That depends on your situation.
If you are at high risk of flu complications because you are pregnant, younger than 5, older than 65, or suffer from a chronic disease (or live with a high-risk person), ask your doctor whether you’re a candidate for an antiviral drug such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir). Taking one of those drugs within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms can shorten the duration of flu symptoms by a day or two, reduce the chance of spreading the disease, and may reduce other complication risks.
Other people should stick with the tried and true: getting plenty of sleep and fluids (water and juices are best), and over-the-counter drugs. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen , and naproxen , which work well to reduce fever, headache, and inflammation, are generally more effective than multisymptom products such as NyQuil and Theraflu, which contain medicines you probably don’t need. Don’t bother with antibiotics—they treat bacterial infections, not viruses such as the flu or colds.
This article has been curated from Got the flu? Here’s what to do.