How can cold and flu be treated

What is the Treatment for Cold and Flu?

What is the Treatment for Cold and Flu?

Doctors typically advise symptomatic treatment for cold or flu symptoms because both infections are viral in nature, and antibiotics are not effective against viruses. While most individuals with flu can improve with symptomatic treatments alone, some may require antiviral drugs. These drugs are specifically designed to target the influenza virus and can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.

Treatment for cold

There are no vaccines or medications specifically designed to prevent the common cold. It’s a self-limiting illness that typically resolves within a few days. However, there are various home remedies and treatments that can help alleviate symptoms while your body fights off the infection. Your doctor may recommend symptomatic treatment, which includes:

– Rest
– Staying hydrated with fluids like oral rehydration solution, fresh juice, soups, and coconut water
– Taking antipyretics such as acetaminophen to reduce fever
– Using tepid sponging to lower high fever
– Medications like ibuprofen or aspirin can help with fever, sore throat, and body aches. However, aspirin or aspirin-containing medications are not recommended for children or teenagers due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
– For older children and adults, over-the-counter cold and cough medications may offer symptom relief, but they don’t shorten the duration of illness. It’s important to avoid giving these medications to small children without consulting a doctor, as they can have side effects.
– Gargling with lukewarm salt water may help soothe a sore throat.
– Decongestants like pseudoephedrine or antihistamines such as cetirizine and chlorpheniramine maleate can relieve nasal symptoms.
– Saline nasal sprays and drops can help clear nasal secretions.

For flu treatment, most people require symptomatic treatment, including rest, staying hydrated, taking antipyretics to reduce fever, and tepid sponging. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe antiviral medications, such as:

– Relenza: Given by inhalation to patients older than seven years, effective against both influenza type A and B.
– Tamiflu: Available as a capsule or oral suspension, prescribed for flu treatment and prevention in children over one year old and adults, effective against both type A and B influenza viruses.
– Symmetrel: Effective against influenza type A alone, used for flu treatment and prevention in children over 12 months of age.
– Flumadine: Effective against type A influenza virus, approved for flu prevention in children under 10 years old but not for flu treatment.

Amantadine and rimantadine are no longer recommended for flu prevention or treatment due to resistance issues. Antiviral drugs can shorten the duration of illness when started within 1-2 days of symptom onset. If flu symptoms persist despite rest and symptomatic treatment, it’s important to consult a doctor.