Healthy remedies and alternatives to help cope with the flu

Published: Feb. 1, 2018 at 10:18 PM EST
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Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018

(News 12 at 6 O’clock / NBC 26 at 7)

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- "We in the western world, the United States, in particular, use evidence-based medicine. What we're looking for is evidence that what we're recommending to our patients is actually going to help them."

Dr. James Wild is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at Augusta University. He says there is really only one regimen to stick to when it comes to the flu.

"Most people with the flu would do well to get some fluids, bed rest, and some Tylenol or Motrin to bring your flu down."

With pharmacies across the CSRA experiencing Tamiflu shortages many are looking for other options.

"For over the counter, there is elderberry which is an antiviral," Pharmacists, Jeremy Hagis.

Jeremy Hagis with Park's Pharmacy in North Augusta says, there are some homeopathic remedies their patients swear by like elderberry or Oscillococcinum, an animal derivative.

"It is thought to interfere with the viral replication process," he said.

But he cautions those remedies are not FDA approved.

"It doesn't have a lot of clinical trials because it is over the counter but a lot of patients seem to think it helps a lot."

Doctor Wild takes it a step further, saying these homeopathic and herbal drugs, combined with other over the counter fever reducers like Motrin and Tylenol, could be harmful.

"The problem is most of these medications have multiple ingredients. And it's possible that you could take a combination of these over the counter medications and be doing some harm to yourself."

"There is no good evidence that the homeopathic remedies make any difference at all."

Even mixing over the counter drugs like Motrin and Tylenol can be harmful if you don't follow the label recommendations. Too much acetaminophen can be deadly.

"Many of these over the counter medications are combinations medications and may have Tylenol or Ibuprofen in them already."

Be careful when it comes to over the counter relievers. Decongestants like Sudafed can also have acetaminophen found in Tylenol in them already.

So you need to read labels and be careful you aren't risking an overdose of those fever reducers and anti-inflammatory medicines.