Flu Season Prescription Discounts
Don't let the flu get the best of you! Let FreeDrugCard.us help with this free prescription discount coupon card. Our prescription drug coupon card is pre-activated and can be used immediately to save up to 90% on your flu medication costs. Below are some examples of the significant savings available to you. Simply print your free coupon card, bring it to your pharmacy, and save on your prescription costs!
|Levofloxacin (Levaquin) 500mg||12||$137.54||$52.62||$84.92||62%|
- Free for everyone
- No eligibility requirements
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- Accepted at over 68,000 pharmacies nationwide
- Already Infected?
- Doctor Visit
- People at Risk
- Antiviral Drugs
- OTC Medication
Symptoms of the Flu
- A 100°F or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
- A cough and/or sore throat
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
Tips for Preventing Infection
- Get a Flu vaccine
- Wash hands often
- Try to limit exposure to infected people
- Practice healthy habits:
- Eat right
- Get enough sleep
- Keep stress levels in check
Usually, colds and flu simply have to be allowed to run their course. You can try to relieve symptoms without taking medicine. Gargling with salt water may relieve a sore throat. And a cool-mist humidifier may help relieve stuffy noses.
Here are some steps to consider:
- First, call your doctor. This will ensure that the best course of treatment can be started early.
- If you are sick, try not to make others sick too. Limit your exposure to other people. Also, cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw used tissues into the trash immediately.
- Stay hydrated and rested. Fluids can help loosen mucus and make you feel better, especially if you have a fever. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated products. These may dehydrate you.
- Know your medicine options. If you choose to use medicine, there are over-the-counter (OTC) options that can help relieve the symptoms of colds and flu.
If you want to unclog a stuffy nose, then nasal decongestants may help. Cough suppressants quiet coughs; expectorants loosen mucus so you can cough it up; antihistamines help stop a runny nose and sneezing; and pain relievers can ease fever, headaches, and minor aches.
When to See Your Doctor
See a health care professional if you aren't getting any better or if your symptoms worsen. Mucus buildup from a viral infection can lead to a bacterial infection.
With children, be alert for high fevers and for abnormal behavior such as unusual drowsiness, refusal to eat, crying a lot, holding the ears or stomach, and wheezing.
Signs of trouble for all people can include
- a cough that disrupts sleep
- a fever that won't go down
- increased shortness of breath
- face pain caused by a sinus infection
- worsening of symptoms, high fever, chest pain, or a difference in the mucus you're producing, all after feeling better for a short time
Cold and flu complications may include bacterial infections (e.g., bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections, and pneumonia) that could require antibiotics.
Remember: While antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, they don't help against viral infections such as the cold or flu.
Who is More at Risk?
Most people who get the flu will have mild illness, will not need medical care or antiviral drugs, and will recover in less than two weeks. Some people, however, are more likely to get flu complications that result in being hospitalized and occasionally result in death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. The flu also can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may have worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu. The list below includes the groups of people more likely to get flu-related complications if they get sick from influenza.
People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications:
- Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].
- Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
- Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
- Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
- Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
- Kidney disorders
- Liver disorders
- Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
- Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
- People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
- People who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index, or BMI, of 40 or greater)
People also at high risk:
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- Pregnant women
- Also, American Indians and Alaskan Natives seem to be at higher risk of flu complications
What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs
Can the flu be treated?
Yes. There are prescription medications called "antiviral drugs" that can be used to treat influenza illness.
What are antiviral drugs?
Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over-the-counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from your doctor or health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
What should I do if I think I have the flu?
If you get the flu, antiviral drugs are a treatment option. Check with your doctor promptly if you have a high risk condition (see box on next page for full list of high risk conditions) and you get flu symptoms. Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your flu illness.
Should I still get a flu vaccine?
Yes. Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine. While not 100% effective, a flu vaccine is the first and best way to prevent influenza. Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense to treat the flu if you get sick.
What are the benefits of antiviral drugs?
When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. For people with a high risk medical condition, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
What are the possible side effects of antiviral drugs?
Some side effects have been associated with the use of flu antiviral drugs, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, runny or stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, headache and some behavioral side effects. These are uncommon. Your doctor can give you more information about these drugs or you can check the CDC or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) websites.
When should antiviral drugs be taken for treatment?
Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. Follow instructions for taking these drugs.
What antiviral drugs are recommended this flu season?
There are two FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by CDC this season. The brand names for these are Tamiflu® (generic name oseltamivir) and Relenza® (generic name zanamivir). Tamiflu® is available as a pill or liquid and Relenza® is a powder that is inhaled. (Relenza® is not for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD, for example.)
How long should antiviral drugs be taken?
To treat the flu, Tamiflu® and Relenza® are usually prescribed for 5 days, although people hospitalized with the flu may need the medicine for longer than 5 days.
Can children and pregnant women take antiviral drugs?
Yes. Children and pregnant women can take antiviral drugs.
Who should take antiviral drugs?
It's very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu (for example people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with the flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a high risk medical condition. Other people also may be treated with antiviral drugs by their doctor this season. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.
Taking Over The Counter (OTC) Medication
Be wary of unproven treatments. It's best to use treatments that have been approved by FDA. Many people believe that products with certain ingredients—vitamin C or Echinacea, for example—can treat winter illnesses.
Unless FDA has approved a product for treatment of specific symptoms, you cannot assume that the product will treat those symptoms. Tell your health care professionals about any supplements or herbal remedies you use.
Read medicine labels carefully and follow directions. People with certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, should check with a health care professional or pharmacist before taking a new cough and cold medicine. Some medicines can worsen underlying health problems.
Choose appropriate OTC medicines. Choose OTC medicines specifically for your symptoms. If all you have is a runny nose, only use a medicine that treats a runny nose. This can keep you from unnecessarily doubling up on ingredients, a practice that can prove harmful.
Check the medicine's side effects. Certain medications such as antihistamines can cause drowsiness. Medications can interact with food, alcohol, dietary supplements, and each other.
The safest strategy is to make sure your health care professional and pharmacist know about every product you are taking, including nonprescription drugs and any dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and herbals.
Check with a doctor before giving medicine to children. Get medical advice before treating children suffering from cold and flu symptoms. Do not give children medication that is labeled only for adults.
Don't give aspirin or aspirin-containing medicines to children and teenagers. Children and teenagers suffering from flu-like symptoms, chickenpox, and other viral illnesses shouldn't take aspirin.
Reye's syndrome, a rare and potentially fatal disease found mainly in children, has been associated with using aspirin to treat flu or chickenpox in kids. Reye's syndrome can affect the blood, liver, and brain.
Some medicine labels may refer to aspirin as salicylate or salicylic acid. Be sure to educate teenagers, who may take OTC medicines without their parents' knowledge.