Treatment for flu, headaches and colds

Flu (Influenza) is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. While mild for most people, it can be severe or even fatal when it affects vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or immunocompromised people. In tropical regions, it can appear throughout the year, with a predominance during the rainy season.

1. Causes

The flu virus belongs to the influenza virus family, which is divided into three groups: A, B, and C. Group A is the most dangerous, B the most common, and C the least severe. As a contagious disease, the flu spreads from person to person through the projection of saliva droplets in the air, for example, when coughing, or through contact with objects contaminated by an infected person (door handles, toothbrushes, etc.).

The incubation period is 24 to 72 hours. One can be contagious a day before the first symptoms appear and remain so for 5 to 10 days.

2. Symptoms

The most common symptoms of the flu are:

  • Intense fatigue
  • Feeling unwell
  • High fever (above 39°C)
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Cough
  • Runny nose

Sometimes, night sweats, digestive issues, loss of appetite, or joint pain can be observed.

The fever generally decreases after 2 to 4 days, but the cough and fatigue can last much longer.

In the case of a cold, fever and headaches are less common, fatigue is much less significant than with the flu, but the nose tends to run more.

3. Diagnosis

Describing the symptoms is sufficient to establish a diagnosis. Complications may require additional tests, such as a chest X-ray.

The similarity of flu and COVID-19 symptoms may lead to a COVID-19 detection test to rule out this possibility.

4. Treatment

Fever and associated pains can be treated with paracetamol. A dry cough can be alleviated with a cough suppressant.

Antiviral medications are rarely used. They must be administered as soon as symptoms appear and are reserved for individuals with severe flu or those at risk.

It’s important to stay well-hydrated (water, herbal teas, broths) to combat dehydration and to rest, staying in bed.

FEBRILEX tablets combine paracetamol, phenylephrine hydrochloride, and chlorphenamine maleate. They are indicated for adults and adolescents from 15 years old, weighing at least 50 kg, for symptomatic treatment of flu symptoms (headaches, neuralgia, various pains, fevers) and colds.

Dosage: 1 tablet, 2 to 4 times a day with a 4-hour interval between each dose. Do not exceed the indicated dosages and limit treatment to 5 days.

5. Prevention

The best prevention is to limit the transmission of the virus. The measures are the same as for COVID-19:

  • Regularly wash hands
  • Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing
  • Avoid kissing or shaking hands as greetings
  • Limit contact with at-risk individuals

There is a flu vaccine that needs to be renewed annually as flu viruses change every year. It is particularly recommended for the elderly and vulnerable people.