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But remember that most people won't need to take these products, and they may even be harmful to some people, particularly those with heart disease, high blood pressure, or other respiratory problems. Cough medicines may help, but it's most important to be drinking enough fluid. Over-the-counter analgesics, or pain medicines, also suppress fevers, which could prolong the course of the infection.

However, take them if you feel very uncomfortable. Older people and those with heart and lung disease may also need to suppress the fever to reduce the strain on their heart and lungs. Stick with non-aspirin products, since aspirin has been associated with Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal complication that mostly affects children and adolescents.

There are four antiviral drugs for the treatment and prevention of influenza. For influenza A, there are amantadine (also sold under the brand name Symmetrel) and rimantadine (which has a brand name of Flumadine). To treat and prevent both influenza A and B, there is zanamivir (with brand name Relenza) and oseltamivir (also know as Tamiflu). All of these drugs are oral pills except Relenza, which is inhaled like an asthma medication. Secondary infections may also need to be treated.

When should I seek emergency medical assistance?

  • Breathing fast or having trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • No tears when crying
  • Has other health conditions and develops flu symptoms
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Water is a natural thirst quencher that is free from sugar and calories. Gatorade is marketed as a popular thirst quencher made of artificial ingredients but does provide the body with electrolytes. In some cases when we do have the stomach flu it can help to drink Gatorade to help hydrate the body of the lost electrolytes and water to help rid the body of toxins. In most cases when we are healthy and happy it is more beneficial to drink all natural beverages, none better than water!

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