Flu Treatment

If you get sick with flu, influenza antiviral drugs may be a treatment option. Antiviral drugs work best when started early, ideally no later than two days after your flu symptoms begin.

Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms.  People at higher risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

Treatment of flu with influenza antiviral medications works best when started within two days after flu symptoms begin and can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by about a day. Starting antiviral treatment shortly after symptoms begin also can help reduce some flu complications.

What to do if you get sick

Stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. You can go back to your normal activities when, for at least 24 hours, both are true:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).*

After these two criteria are met, there are some additional precautions that can be taken to protect others from respiratory illness. More information is available at About Preventing Spread of Respiratory Viruses When You’re Sick.

*More information about how long people are contagious with flu and what to do if you did not have a fever is available at Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick | CDC.

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