Get Your Medicine Cabinet Winter-Ready

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by carepro

It’s that time of year again. Time to think about getting your annual flu shot, of course. It’s also time for another September task; preparing your family’s medicine cabinet for the winter months ahead. Visit your local CarePro Pharmacy to stock up on some over-the-counter (OTC) medications to help make you less miserable if you do get a cold or the flu.

Colds usually cause those icky symptoms we all hate: stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat, and watery eyes. There is no vaccine against colds, which come on gradually and often spread through contact with infected mucus.

Flu comes on suddenly and lasts longer than a cold. Flu symptoms include fever, headache, chills, dry cough, body aches, fatigue and general misery. Like colds, the flu can also cause a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Young children may also experience nausea and vomiting with the flu. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. You also can get the flu by touching a surface or objects that has the flu virus on it.

Flu season in the U.S. may begin as early as October and can last as late as May. It generally peaks between December and February. Getting ready now, with OTC medications to treat symptoms, is smart. While OTC medications can’t cure a cold or the flu, they can help ease the symptoms.

  • Nasal decongestants help unclog a stuffy nose.
  • Cough suppressants quiet coughs.
  • Expectorants loosen mucus.
  • Antihistamines help stop a runny nose and sneezing.
  • Pain relievers can ease fever, headaches and minor aches.

Now’s also the time to educate yourself about these medications. Check the medicine’s potential side effects. Medications can cause drowsiness and may interact with food, alcohol, dietary supplements and each other. It’s best to tell your doctor and pharmacist about every medication and supplement you and your family members take. Check with your doctor before giving OTC medicine to children.

Of course, sometime you will have symptoms that require more than OTC medications. Signs of trouble include:

  • A cough that disrupts sleep
  • A fever that won’t respond with treatment
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Face pain caused by sinus infection
  • High fever, chest pain or a difference in the mucus you’re producing, after feeling better for a short period of time

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor. If you think you may have the flu, see your doctor as soon as possible. There are rapid tests that can detect flu. If you have the flu, your doctor may want you to take an antiviral medication right away if you are at risk for complications.

If you have any questions or concerns about the influenza vaccine or medications you should keep on hand, talk to your pharmacist or physician. Vaccinations are quick, easy and can help you stay healthy. Flu shots, as well as other vaccines, are available at your local CarePro Pharmacy. Our pharmacists are happy to answer your vaccination and medication questions – connect with us today!

Come to CarePro Pharmacy for your flu shot this month and receive a coupon for a free 1,000 IU Vitamin D and 25% off probiotic!

 – Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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