How do I beat the flu?

You want to stay healthy and live life to the fullest – but then out of nowhere flu strikes. You want to get better, fast! But how?

Influenza, or ‘flu’, is a complex topic. From symptoms to vaccines, antiviral medications and more, there can be confusion around what to do when you get hit with flu – a term we like to call “conflusion.”

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What is flu?

Flu is a common illness that spreads from coughs and sneezes.1 It can cause a range of symptoms, and in some people can lead to life-threatening complications.2


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What are flu antivirals?

Flu antivirals are a type of prescription medication used to help treat flu. they can help shorten your illness, and minimize the risk of complications.3

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Why 48 hours?

Flu antivirals can help you to quickly feel better and minimize spread to others.4 However, to be most effective, they must be taken within 48 hours of your symptoms starting.4


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How do flu antivirals work?

Flu antivirals work differently compared to over-the-counter medicines; they treat the flu virus directly, rather than just the symptoms.5,6

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Fact vs. fiction

Uncertain about symptoms? Confused about treatment? It can be hard to know what's true and what's not when it comes to flu. That's why we've separated the fact from the fiction for you.


Think you’ve got flu? Visit your doctor to discuss if an antiviral flu medication might be right for you

If you get sick this flu season, it’s important to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible.


Find out more about flu in your local area using the CDC influenza map.


  1. Cowling B et al. Nat Commun 2013; 4: 1935.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Symptoms & Complications, 2018. Available from Last accessed October 2018.
  3. Lehnert R et al. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113(47): 799–807.
  4. Banning M. Br J Nurs 2005; 14(22): 1192–1197.
  5. Stiver G. CMAJ 2003; 168(1): 49–56.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptom relief, 2018. Available from: Last accessed October 2018.
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Date of preparation: November 2018

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