Flu in Adults (cont.)
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Medications for Flu in Adults
Some medications can be used to decrease the severity and duration of a flu attack. These are referred to as antiviral drugs. Antiviral medications are often given to those who are very sick, such as those in the hospital and others who are at higher risk of complications.
Those include children under 2 years of age (although 2- to 4-year-olds are also at increased risk but not as much as those under 2 years of age) or adults over 65 years of age. Also at higher risk of complications are children or adults with chronic illness such as asthma, chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, obesity, or HIV, as well as those under 19 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy. American Indians, Alaska natives, people who are morbidly obese (with BMI greater than 40), and residents of chronic-care facilities like nursing homes are also considered to be at higher risk for complications of the flu.
When the lungs get infected, causing pneumonia, other antiviral drugs such as ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol) and sometimes antibiotics may be needed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2014
Steven Fine, MD, PhD
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Influenza virus infection, one of the most common infectious diseases, is a highly contagious airborne disease that causes an acute febrile illness and results in variable degrees of systemic symptoms, ranging from mild fatigue to respiratory failure and death.