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Patient Instructions for Flu

The Flu - If you think you have the flu, you should stay out of work – you don’t want to spread it. You should come into the office to get a prescription for antiflu medication if it is within 48 hours of the beginning of the flu.  If it is over two days you can stay at home and try symptomatic relief.

Symptomatic relief for the flu or viral infections:

  • Over-the-counter medications may relieve some flu symptoms or viral infection symptoms but will not make you less contagious. Prevent spread by hand washing and protected coughing.

  • You can take high dose ibuprofen for muscle aches and fever.  You can take 400 to 600 mg of ibuprofen ever 6 hours.  Ibuprofen is 200 mg per pill in the over the counter version, so that’s 2 or 3 pills.  Don’t use ibuprofen if you have a history or stomach ulcers or you start to get strong stomach pain. You can also take Tylenol or Alleve for fever reduction and treatment of muscle aches.

  • You can get mucinex or robitussion – these medicines are expectorants and help break up the congestion.  The other best expectorant to use is plain water.  You should try to drink at least 6-8 extra glasses of water a day.

  • Mucinex and Robitussin can also come in combinations with “DM” – which is dextormethorapham – it is a cough suppressant and is supposed to be as effective as codeine. 

You can treat flu or viral infections without medication by:

  • Getting plenty of rest

  • Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated

  • Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever

  • Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier

  • Gargling salt water (enough salt to make the water cloudy) to soothe a sore throat. You can also use chloraseptic sprays or lozenges for a severe sore throat.

  • Covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills

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