Auburn University Pharmacists Recommend Antivirals to Combat the Flu this Year

This has been a very active flu season.

“It’s definitely one of the worse seasons I’ve seen in the 10 years I’ve been a pharmacist,” said Dr. Spencer Durham, Asst. Clinical Professor at Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy.

The reason: the predominant strain is H2N2.

“We know this strain was going to be a very prevalent strain this year, but it’s more powerful that we thought it was going to be,” said Dr. Durham.

So, the vaccine isn’t covering it as well as it has in past years.

“Most years we are able to predict it very well, but this year and 2009, it’s just a year where something unexpected happened,” said Dr. Durham.

That’s why researchers at Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy recommend getting an antiviral as well to combat the nasty virus.

“There’s some antivirals like Tamiflu that help treat the virus. It has to be given early on in the disease, usually around 48 hours of symptoms. Especially with this strain, Tamiflu is very sensitive to this strain, so it’s working very well,” said Dr. Durham.

Tamiflu contains a medication called oseltamivir, it’s an antiviral that works directly to inhibit the growth of the virus.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, go to your doctor right away since Tamiflu is more effective the earlier you take it.

And again, if you haven’t already, get your flu shot. Even though the vaccine isn’t fully effective against this year’s strain, they highly recommend it.

“We know the flu tends to not be as bad if you’ve had the vaccine. So, we do recommend it and there are other strains that are covered in the vaccine,” said Dr. Durham.

Tamiflu is an oral medication that is not over the counter. You need a prescription for it. So, if you are experiencing some flu like symptoms, ask your doctor if they recommend Tamiflu for you.

Categories: Alabama News

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