Treating Influenza With Prescription Drugs

Influenza, also known as flu, is a viral infection caused by a virus of the RNA family. There are 3 virus-types of flu – type ‘A’, type ‘B’ and type ‘C’. The type ‘A’ virus is the most deadly and pandemic. Subtypes of influenza ‘A’ are H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2, out of which the H1N1 variety is medically tested to be the most dangerous to humans. The classification is made on the basis of 2 surface proteins – hemagglutinin (H) and neuramidase (N). So H1N1, for instance, means the virus contains hemagglutinin variation 1 and neuramidase variation 1.

Type ‘B’ and type ‘C’ variants are not so dangerous and they do not contain viruses that have antigenic features. So humans are usually able grow immune to these two types very early.

Treating influenza

Treatment of flu is very difficult because of the nature of the flu virus. The highly infectious flu viruses are mutable. So they keep changing genetically, giving very little time for drugs to act quickly and effectively. Once infected, the viruses multiplies in living cells via viral binding. The flu virus travels through air and also through body contact. The World Health Organisation has approved Tamiflu as a preventive and therapeutic medicine for the treatment of influenza. Relenza is another medicine which is applied for treating flu. But Relenza is contraindicated for people who have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Tamiflu, manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals, is an effective prescription medicine for prevention and treatment of influenza. It has oseltamivir as its active ingredient. The medicine has been proven effective for treating human flu, bird flu and swine flu. Available in doses of 75mg, the drug prevents flu by attacking the base of the flu virus, preventing it from multiplying. If applied for flu prevention, Tamiflu oseltamivir kills the virus with the help of body proteins. The medicine should be taken as follows:

within 48 hours from the outbreak of symptoms

the entire course of treatment must be completed

for treatment, the recommended dose is 75mg capsules twice a day for 5 days

for prevention, the recommended dose is a capsule daily for minimum of 10 days

If you take the medicine within 48 hours from noticing the first symptoms, you’re likely to get relief from the flu symptoms.


Relenza is a powerful antiviral medicine intended for providing relief from the symptoms of influenza. It should work effectively for swine flu, bird flu and common flu. The medicine comes in a powdery form, to be inhaled twice every day for five days or once every day day for 28 days. The treatment should start either as soon as or no later than two days from the symptoms appear.

You should not take Relenza if you are allergic to Zanamivir or any of the active ingredients the medicine contains. Stop taking the medicine if you gasp for breath and waste no time in calling your doctor.