Flu
Influenza, commonly referred to as 'flu', is a very common condition that is highly contagious. The symptoms of flu are similar to those of a very bad cold, such as a cough, runny nose, sore throat and headaches. The infection is often spread through germs on surfaces or hands. You do not necessarily need to visit a doctor to get rid of the flu, as there are various medicines you can use to treat the condition at home. Often, this medicine does not require a prescription. Medicine Direct has a range of treatments in stock at our online pharmacy. Browse our range of flu treatments below.

Flu

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What is the Flu?

The flu is caused by a viral infection. Usually, the infection is spread between people through germs living on surfaces or hands. It is known for being very contagious, especially during the first week of showing symptoms.

You do not have to visit your doctor if you think you have the flu. In fact, it is recommended that you avoid going into your GP so that you do not assist the virus in spreading. Instead, symptoms can be treated at home. If you are suffering from a particularly severe bought of the flu, you can order flu treatment online from our pharmacy.

Simply fill in the online consultation form and one of our doctors will advise you on the best course of action to take, whether that be our antiviral medicine available through prescription or home remedies.

Flu Symptoms

The symptoms of flu can change depending on your age and the strain of the virus. For instance, children may experience painful earache on top of the usual symptoms associated with flu. Some adults may also experience vomiting or watery eyes. However, there are common symptoms to look out for when suffering from a bout of flu.

Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Your body aches
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • High temperature
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Diarrhoea and/or stomach pain
  • Feeling tired or exhausted

Flu Causes

The flu virus travels through the air in droplets when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks. Other people can inhale these droplets directly, or pick them up from touching objects that have the germs on them, such as a phone or television remote.

The flu is a highly contagious condition, usually from the day before the symptoms first appear until around five days after the symptoms start.

Influenza viruses change constantly and new strains appear quite often. If you have had it in the past, your body will have made antibodies to fight that particular strain. If you catch a strain of flu that is similar to one you have had before, these antibodies may help your immune system to prevent the infection or make it less serious.

However, they will not protect your health from new strains of influenza.

Flu Diagnosis

Flu symptoms can be diagnosed by a physical exam conducted by your doctor. They will check for symptoms of influenza and may also order a test that detects influenza viruses.

If you catch influenza at a time when it is widespread, you may not be tested at all; instead your doctor may diagnose you based purely on your symptoms.

At Medicine Direct, one of our certified doctors can diagnose your flu symptoms after assessing your answers on our online questionnaire. After assessing your answers and symptoms, they will be able to prescribe the most suitable treatment method for you, without you needing to leave the house. This makes it easier for you to rest and stops the risk of your passing on the virus to others.

Flu Treatment

In most cases, the flu can be treated at home by keeping warm, resting and taking medicine to lower your temperature and relieve your aches. It is also very important to stay hydrated.

Some flu strains such as influenza A and influenza B are treated using a prescribed antiviral medicine. The medicine will work by attacking the flu virus to stop it from multiplying and spreading through your body. As it slows the rate of spreading, it gives your body more chance to fight back against the viral infection.

You can order antiviral flu medicine from our online pharmacy at Medicine Direct:

Tamiflu

Two tablets are to be taken each day for five days. Different dosage strengths are available, from 30mg-75mg. The doctor will prescribe the correct strength for your needs according to your online consultation.

How can I treat flu symptoms?


In most cases, bed rest and plenty of fluids are enough to treat influenza properly. However, if you have a severe case of the flu or are at a high risk of developing other complications from the virus, your doctor may also write you a prescription for certain antiviral medication. Tamiflu is a very common medicine for people to take when they are fighting the flu. They may shorten your illness and also help to prevent the risk that you get serious complications. Tamiflu contains the active ingredient oseltamivir, which helps to prevent influenza A and influenza B. You can buy Tamiflu from Medicine Direct after you complete a short medical consultation with one of our certified doctors. They will assess your health and medical history and prescribe the medicine they deem the most suitable to treat your particular flu strain. You can then buy this medication from our online pharmacy. If you order online with us by 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery.

How do antiviral medicines work?


Antiviral medications are a class of drugs that are used to treat viral infections. They are prescribed to attempt to minimise the condition and shorten the duration of your illness. Antivirals do not kill the virus, they work to stop it from multiplying and spreading. This allows the body's immune system to neutralise the virus and shorten the length of time the sufferer has it. Antiviral medication is available to buy from our online pharmacy after an online consultation with one of our certified doctors.

How can I prevent flu?


Flu vaccinations are your best bet of preventing the flu. The older we get, the more danger the flu poses to our health, which is why the NHS offers free flu jabs to people who are over the age of 65. People with certain medical conditions and women who are pregnant are also eligible to get a flu vaccine. If you receive a carer's allowance or are the carer for someone who is sick or elderly, whose welfare may be in danger if you become sick, you are also eligible. Certain other groups of people may also be eligible to get a flu vaccine, such as health and social care workers. You should speak to your doctor about your eligibility. Other ways you can help to prevent the flu include: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser. This will help to protect you and others from germs. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, this will minimise the risk of passing your germs onto other people. If possible, use a handkerchief to cough or sneeze into, or wash/sanitise your hands afterwards. Stay at home when you do not feel well. This will minimise the risk of you becoming run down, which can wear down your immune system and make you more vulnerable to catching viruses like the flu. It will also stop you from coming into contact with other people who may be carrying an illness; at the same time, it will stop you from spreading your germs to others. Keep your distance from people who are sick. When you are sick, do not stand too close to other people, so you do not put their health at risk. Take care not to touch your nose, mouth or eyes; germs are spread by a person touching something that is contaminated with germs and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Get plenty of sleep. This will help to prevent your body from becoming weak and run down. If you are run down, it is harder to fight off infection. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, helping to flush out your system. Keep surfaces at home and work clean, to minimise the risk of contamination. Take plenty of exercise on a regular basis. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of foods that build the immune system, such as broccoli, ginger and spinach.

How long does the Flu last?


The signs of the flu are usually noticeable within one to four days of infection. Initial signs of the virus are fever, headaches and fatigue. The flu usually lasts around one to two weeks, with the most severe symptoms lessening after a week. As you remain contagious up to seven days after having caught the flu, it is important you try and take time off work to avoid spreading the virus. When you return, be careful to cleanse all worktops and wash your hands properly.

Doctor Notes

Medicine Direct have an experienced clinical team of doctors, pharmacists and dispensers, all of whom are based in the UK. All are fully trained and qualified to provide appropriate and considered care across all areas of treatment we have available at our online pharmacy.

This means that no matter which member of our team is assigned to your case, you can rest assured that you are in the hands of a highly skilled medical professional, who possesses the compassion and clinical expertise to properly advise you on the best course of treatment.

We are fully regulated

All of our doctors and pharmacists are fully registered with both the General Medical Council (GMC), MHRA and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Each member of our team has also worked in various clinic settings in the past, such as community pharmacies and NHS hospitals.

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


Pharmacist

This content has been written by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh

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