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Can Medicine Keep Me From Getting the Flu?

Medicine for Flu Prevention

Although the flu vaccine is the best prevention method, three antiviral medicines are also available by prescription to help prevent flu infection. These antiviral medications include:
Tamiflu, Flumadine and Symmetrel may be used by adults and children who are 1 year of age and older.
These medicines help with prevention if you take them for at least 2 weeks during the outbreak of the flu in your community. You may use these medicines if you are in close contact with family members or others who have the flu.
You may also take these medicines immediately following flu vaccination during a flu epidemic to protect you during the 2- to 4-week period before antibodies (proteins from your immune system that protect you from the flu virus) develop, or when a flu epidemic is caused by virus strains other than those covered by the vaccine.
It is important to note that Flumadine and Symmetrel have unpleasant side effects. Therefore, you should discuss the flu vaccine and flu medicine with your healthcare provider before flu season begins to find the one that is best for you.
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