Antiviral medications: These are prescription drugs that can be used to treat the flu. They work by stopping the flu virus from multiplying in the body. Examples of antiviral medications include oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir (Rapivab). These medications work best if they are started within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms.
Over-the-counter medications: These are medications that can be purchased without a prescription at a pharmacy or grocery store. Over-the-counter medications can help relieve the symptoms of the flu, such as fever, headache, and body aches. Examples of over-the-counter medications include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve).
Rest and hydration: Resting and staying hydrated are important for treating the flu. Resting allows your body to focus its energy on fighting the virus, while staying hydrated helps to prevent dehydration, which can worsen flu symptoms. It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids, such as water, juice, and soup, and to avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration.