Are you like so many Americans and could not get a flu shot? What are your next options to help prevent the flu or help if you do get the flu? There are several drugs that have been approved for influenza and are effective in prevention and treatment.
Amantadine is an anti-viral drug that was approved in 1976 for treatment of influenza A. Other approved drugs for influenza are rimantadine, and oseltamivir. All of these medications are prescription drugs, and a doctor should be consulted before the drugs are used. When used for prevention, they are about 70% to 90% effective for preventing illness in healthy adults. If taken within 2 days of getting sick, these drugs can reduce the symptoms of the flu and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can make you less contagious to others. All of these drugs must be prescribed by a doctor and taken for 5 days. Antiviral drugs are effective only against influenza viruses. They will not help the symptoms associated with the common cold or many other flu-like illnesses caused by viruses that circulate in the winter. All of the antiviral drugs are different in terms of who can take them, how they are given, any dosing changes based on age or medical conditions, and side effects. Your doctors will help decide whether you should get antivirals and which one you should get. Source: CDC (see below)
For the complete text and more information from CDC (Center for Disease Control) see: