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Friday, January 4, 2008

Cold and Flu Viruses - Don't Take Over the Counter Medications When Someone Has Thyroid Disease or High Blood Pressure

The American Lung Association reminds us that antibiotics treat bacterial infections, but there are no antiviral medications invented yet to treat viruses. Additionally, the American Lung Association says "certain people such as those with thyroid disease or high blood pressure should not take decongestants -- check with your doctor. There are many over the counter remedies that contain these ingredients."

Seniors who have a viral cold or flu can be at risk, especially if they already have multiple chronic health conditions. Check with a doctor before taking any over the counter medications if there is a risk that they are not recommended with a health condition or with other medications someone takes.

Many people mistakenly believe that when you get a cold you go to the doctor for antibiotics, but as the American Lung Association explains, virus infections do not respond to treatment with antibiotics, only bacterial infections respond.

Drinking plenty of water and juices is recommended for keeping the nose and throat from drying out. Keep your mouth covered with a tissue when coughing to avoid spreading the virus to others, and wash your hands frequently.

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