Harvard Men's Health Watch

Influenza alert: When you need an antiviral boost

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If you are at risk of severe flu complications, start on antiviral medications as soon as you feel sick.

By middle age, influenza is a familiar but unwelcome visitor to most of us. And we know generally what to do: Drink fluids, rest, and within a week or so, we are back to our usual activities.

However, for men with certain chronic health conditions, the infection can progress to hospitalization for serious complications like pneumonia. To head off such bad outcomes, doctors commonly recommend medications known as neuraminidase inhibitors, which fight the virus. The two in use are oseltamivir (Tamiflu), taken as a pill, and zanamivir (Relenza), which is inhaled.

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