Colds & Flu

sick The symptoms of colds and flu are very similar. If you are sick, it is important to know which one you have, so you can take the right medicine. The flu is much more serious and might require a prescription from your doctor to treat it.

Preventing colds and flu: 

  • Wash your hands often and keep them away from your face.  
  • Cover your cough with your arm, not hands.
  •  Avoid contact with people who have symptoms. This is especially important during peak months, October through March.

Colds

covercoughCold Symptoms

Sore throat and runny nose are usually the first signs of a cold. Other symptoms include coughing, headache, fatigue, congestion, and sneezing. A cold usually lasts 3 to 7 days.

Treating Colds

Use over the counter medicines. Make sure to follow all dosage instructions carefully and talk to your pharmacist if you need help.

Flu

shotFlu Symptoms

The flu usually starts suddenly and lasts over 1 week. Symptoms include achy muscles, fever, headache, coughing, and congestion.

Treating the Flu

Get plenty of rest and drink clear fluids (water, broth, sports drinks). You can also put a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead if you have a fever. Ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter medicines like decongestants, cough medicine, acetaminophen. Your doctor might also prescribe an antiviral if necessary.

Antibiotics

antibioticsImportant: Antibiotics do not treat the cold or flu.

Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Both the cold and flu are caused by viruses, so antibiotics are not useful. Viral infections are different from bacterial infections and require different medicine to treat them.

Taking antibiotics at the wrong time will prevent them from working for you in the future. 

Only take antibiotics if your cold or flu develops into a bacterial infection like pneumonia or bronchitis, or if your doctor instructs you to.

To learn more about medicines to treat colds and flu, click below.

Feel Better Soon... Without Antibiotics (Children)

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Feel Better Soon…Without Antibiotics (Adults)

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