Alternative medicines for flu - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Alternative medicines for flu

Health experts are recommending more affordable flu medications. (Source: CBS Newspath) Health experts are recommending more affordable flu medications. (Source: CBS Newspath)
(CBS Newspath) - With everything going around, a lot of people are looking for ways to get better, faster. We've all heard about Tamiflu, but it's expensive, even with insurance. Now health experts are revealing less expensive alternatives. There are ways to treat the actual virus and the symptoms as well, depending on how much you want to spend. You can do one or the other, or a combination of both.

Dustin Stone is a father of three and when one of his girls caught the flu, he knew it was only a matter of time.

"It's part of having kids. They're at school, bringing germs home and passing it around."

All five family members were prescribed Tamiflu, but depending on insurance coverage, can run you a pretty penny.

"You know, we knew it was not going to be cheap, getting five prescriptions for the flu, but when the pharmacy told us it was $500 it was kind of a shock."

But some doctors and pharmacists say there are alternatives. Dr. Chad Edwards with Revolution Health treats patients with vitamin IVs and nutritional advice.

"We find that a lot of people are vitamin D deficient and a lot of studies show that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with upper respiratory infections."

Dr. Edwards also recommends supplements, like vitamin C, Andrographis and EGCG found in green tea. Things you can find in your local pharmacy or health food store. 

Pharmacist Chris Shiller recommends that if you don't go the Tamiflu route, to drink lots of water and treat the most severe symptoms.

"You know you've got your Tylenol or your ibuprofen, your fever, same thing, nausea and vomiting -- these are things over the counter and prescription that can treat those."

But Shiller says always consult your pharmacist before self medicating. You could be overdoing it. But regardless of preference or cost, dads like Dustin say if it helps, they'll try it.

"It's one of those -- I think your hands are kind of tied, especially when it comes to your kids, you're not going to. If it was $1000 for a prescription, you're going to try to find a way to go get it if that's what they need to get better."

We looked up some statistics and according to a map Walgreens released, Oklahoma ranks number 1 in flu activity in the country. Medical professionals recommend that if you feel flu-like symptoms coming on, head to the doctor as soon as you can.

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