Having the flu is usually not a big deal for most healthy people, as this video explains. In fact, those who are relatively healthy may be able to skip the doctor’s appointment altogether. Still, there are a few exceptions to this rule, notably people who live with those who are high risk and medical providers who should receive medical treatment for confirmed or suspected flu diagnoses.
A prescription flu treatment such as Tamiflu works best within 48 hours after symptoms appear. They do not cure the flu but can decrease the duration intensity of the flu while making the patient less contagious.
Over-the-counter cold and flu medications are all quite similar and are ineffective in children. These remedies may elevate blood pressure or interfere with blood pressure medication in those with heart conditions.
Other ways someone can relieve cold or flu symptoms and help their bodies fight infection include resting, gargling salt water to relieve a sore throat, treating a dry nose with petroleum jelly, and using a humidifier. Currently, there is no conclusive evidence that any herb or supplement effectively treats a cold or flu, and the FDA does not regulate these products.