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How Do I Choose the Best Antiviral for Flu?

Laura M. Sands
By Laura M. Sands
Updated May 17, 2024
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In order to choose the best antiviral for flu, consult a physician about your symptoms and ask about the most effective antivirals. Research shows that influenza usually goes away without the use of an antiviral medication, but your doctor may prescribe one to lessen the severity of the virus or the length of time you are infected with it. If you are taking other medications or if you have another underlying health condition that your doctor is not aware of, it is important to bring this to her or his attention when discussing the uses of antivirals in treating influenza. When considering taking an antiviral for flu, you may also want to investigate antiviral safety in terms of side effects that may be associated with certain medications or drugs that have been recalled due to criminal tampering. Choose the best antiviral for flu by only considering those that have been rigorously tested and approved by your government for safe use against viral diseases.

Experts advise against taking an antiviral for flu that has not been prescribed by a licensed physician. Further advice is offered against taking medications that were prescribed for another person or that were prescribed for you at an earlier date not related to your current bout with the flu. Not all medications react the same way in every person and it is, therefore, important for a physical examination of symptoms to be given before choosing an antiviral for flu.

When discussing which antiviral is the most effective in treating your flu symptoms, health experts stress the importance of making sure that your doctor is aware of any underlying medical conditions you may have, as well as any other medications you may be taking. Antivirals may interfere with the effectiveness of certain medications or may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions. In some instances, an antiviral for flu may not even be prescribed unless an underlying condition is present which may have a severe impact on your immune system.

One of the primary considerations in choosing an antiviral for flu is any side effects that are associated with a medication. Even if prescribed by a physician, you may want to research a drug’s side effects on your own and address any concerns that you have with your doctor before taking the antiviral. While researching side effects, you may want to investigate any recalls that were made on the drug and discuss this with your doctor, as well.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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