A pharmacist's guide to dealing with your flu symptoms

Here's how to deal with the symptoms that affect various parts of the body, according to Clicks pharmacists

24 June 2019

From headaches to stuffy noses, aches and fevers - the flu brings with it a number of unfortunate symptoms. Our Clicks pharmacists share their recommendations on how to best treat each flu symptom.

Headache

Start with basic paracetamol. If you find no relief, speak to your Clicks pharmacist about stronger pills containing codeine, ibuprofen or a combination of these.

Cough

Suitable cough mixture that may include an expectorant for wet coughs, or a suppressant for dry coughs. Some people may need a cough syrup with a bronchodilator if the chest feels tight.

Sore throat

Try throat sprays (either natural or allopathic), throat gargles and lozenges.

Runny or stuffy nose

An anti-histamine on its own or combined with a decongestant should relieve most runny or stuffy noses.

Diarrhea and vomiting

It's important to stay hydrated if you experience diarrhea or vomiting. Take anti-nausea and anti-diarrhoeal pills (chat to your pharmacist), probiotics, electrolyte supplements, charcoal-containing tablets and, for infants, kaolin and pectin mixtures.

Fever

Physically cool the patient with water, a damp cloth or by making them sit in a cool breeze. Fever-reducing medicine such as paracetamol will also help bring down a fever.

Body aches

Take paracetamol or speak to your pharmacist about an anti-inflammatory-type tablet for muscle pain.

Chills

It’s a good idea to take a lukewarm – not cold – shower. Take fever-reducing medicine such as paracetamol.

Fatigue

Multivitamins and/or energy supplements will help alleviate feelings of general fatigue.

It's not too late to get vaccinated 

Annual flu shots are important, especially if you’re pregnant, 65 years or older, asthmatic, diabetic, suffer from lung, heart, blood, kidney or liver disorders, or have HIV/Aids or cancer, as the risk of serious complications from flu is higher.“It’s never too late in the year,” says Clicks pharmacist, Waheed Abdurahman. 

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