My Pharmacy currently doesn’t provide prescription medication for stomach flu or a flu vaccine prescription. Stomach flu medication is typically only available via doctors prescription for flu if nausea and vomiting can’t be stopped, with medicines such as promethazine or metoclopramide.

The prescription drugs for flu currently stocked by us are for the treatment and prevention of Influenza. Known as Oseltamivir, or the brand name Tamiflu, it is a drug that is recommended for people who have complications or are at high risk of complications within 48 hours of an influenza infection. Oseltamivir can be used by children aged 2 weeks old or older via a children’s flu medication prescription.

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    • About Cold and Flu

      The common cold and influenza (flu) are contagious respiratory illnesses caused by distinct viruses. Cold symptoms are generally milder and include a runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. Flu symptoms are typically more severe and can result in fever, body aches, and extreme fatigue. Both conditions are transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, but the flu can also lead to more serious health complications, especially in the elderly, young children, and individuals with certain chronic health conditions.

      Understanding these differences is crucial for effective management and prevention of these common respiratory illnesses.

    • Symptoms of Cold and Flu

      Both cold and flu are respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Here’s a detailed look at the symptoms of each:

      Common Cold:

      • Symptoms usually begin with a sore throat, which typically goes away after a day or two.
      • Nasal symptoms, such as a runny nose (rhinorrhea) and congestion, along with sneezing, usually develop early in the course of the cold.
      • By the fourth or fifth day, cough and a general feeling of being unwell may emerge.
      • Fever is rare in adults but slightly more common in children.

      Influenza (Flu):

      • Flu symptoms are generally more intense and appear suddenly.
      • Fever and chills are common, but not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
      • Headaches and muscle or body aches are more pronounced with the flu.
      • Fatigue and weakness can be quite severe and might confine you to bed.
      • You may also experience chest discomfort and a significant cough.

      The onset of flu typically brings more severe health implications than the common cold, which is mostly mild and resolves without complications. The flu can lead to serious health issues, including secondary infections like pneumonia, particularly in the elderly, young children, and those with certain chronic health conditions.

      It’s crucial to monitor the symptoms and consult healthcare providers for appropriate management and treatment options. Understanding these symptoms can help differentiate between a cold and the flu, ensuring that you seek the right treatment and interventions.

    • Diagnosis

      Diagnosing colds and flu primarily involves evaluating symptoms since both are caused by viruses and present similar features. Here’s how medical experts typically diagnose these conditions:

      For the Common Cold:

      Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms. Colds typically manifest with a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat, and sneezing. Unlike flu, fevers are rare in adults but more common in children.

      Medical providers might not perform specific tests for the common cold as the treatment mainly involves symptom management. The focus is on providing relief through over-the-counter medications, hydration, and rest.

      For Influenza (Flu):

      Diagnosis can be more structured due to the potential severity of the disease. In addition to assessing symptoms, health professionals may use diagnostic tests, especially during flu season or if the patient is at risk of complications.

      Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) provide results quickly, within about 15-30 minutes, helping differentiate the flu from other respiratory illnesses. These tests involve swabbing the nose or throat to detect influenza viruses.

      More sophisticated tests, such as RT-PCR and viral cultures, are more accurate and can identify specific strains of the virus but are more time-consuming and generally used in more serious cases or for specific populations. Both conditions are highly contagious, and distinguishing between them can be crucial for prevention of spread and complications, especially in vulnerable populations. Early diagnosis of the flu and prompt treatment with antiviral medications can significantly improve outcomes.

    • Treatments

      Prescription medications play a crucial role in managing and treating cold and flu symptoms, as well as in preventing influenza:

      Oseltamivir: This antiviral medication is effective in treating flu symptoms and can be used for prevention. It works best when started within 48 hours of symptom onset to reduce severity and duration. It’s available in both pill and liquid forms.

      Antiviral Medications: They help prevent serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, especially in high-risk groups like the elderly and those with chronic conditions. Antivirals are most effective when administered early in the course of the illness.

      My Pharmacy offers these effective flu treatments, including Tamiflu 75mg capsules, which can significantly aid in managing flu symptoms and preventing the spread of influenza. These medications require a prescription and should be used under medical guidance to ensure safety and effectiveness.

    • Prevention Strategies for Cold and Flu

      Protecting yourself from colds and the flu is crucial, especially during peak seasons. Here are expert-recommended strategies to help you prevent these common respiratory infections:

      • Annual Flu Vaccination: The most effective way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated each year. The flu vaccine is updated annually to combat the most current strains of the virus.
      • Frequent Hand Washing: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching public surfaces, before eating, and after coughing or sneezing.
      • Maintain Distance: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are ill, keep your distance from others to prevent spreading the virus.
      • Stay Home If Unwell: If you exhibit symptoms of the flu or a cold, it’s best to stay home from work or school to recover and to avoid spreading the infection to others.
      • Cover Coughs and Sneezes: Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue safely and sanitize your hands.
      • Disinfect Surfaces: Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, such as phones, keyboards, doorknobs, and light switches.
      • Avoid Touching Your Face: Viruses can enter your body through the eyes, nose, and mouth, so avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
      • Healthy Lifestyle: Strengthen your immune system by maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, ensuring adequate sleep, and staying hydrated.

      By following these prevention tips, you can reduce your risk of falling ill and help curb the spread of viruses in your community.