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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
I'm a 33 y/o male who has always been in pretty good health. About two weeks ago I came down with what looks like the flu. Symptoms: heavy feeling in the head, pressure in eyes, sore throat, coughing, general fatigue, no high temperature. Other family members have gone through the same thing. However, two weeks later I'm still coughing pretty hard and feel pretty bad, while they've mostly recovered. I also suspect that this is effecting my heart negatively. Nothing major. Over-the-counter stuff (Contac, Dr. Mom, Robitussin) isn't helping much. It's helping treat the symptoms but not the underlying problem. Should I be looking into antibiotics/antihistamines? I'm a bit concerned that if I don't treat this thing more aggressively it could turn into pneumonia. The word is that this ORZ infection going around Moscow is viral. Do antibiotics or antihistamines help in treating the effects of this sort of thing? And if so, which ones should I ask for at my local apteka and in what doses should they be taken? Thanks in advance for the consultation.
RD
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry. Comments: - it is not uncommon for people to feel unwell (need that old-fashioned convalescence time that we often fail to provide ourselves with in the modern rush) following influenza. It is also possible (but not nearly as common) for some viral flu- or flu-like illnesses to cause a viral cardiomyopathy (infection / inflammation / weakening of the heart muscle) which results in being more easily fatigued and short of breath well beyond what you could otherwise expect - but this is rare. (It is a little more likely if people exercise vigorously while ill). Again, following a flu episode secondary bacterial infections such as bronchitis and laryngitis are not uncommon. To get more specific: - if you are coughing up infected looking phlegm, and / or if you have a fever, and / or if you are getting too-easily short of breath: see your doctor. You will need a more detailed history taken and a physical examination, plus chest X-ray and possibly more investigations. If you do not have any or all of these but you do not get better you should of course still see your doctor. - you ought not to be taking antibiotics without a diagnosis - so that you get the antibiotic most likely to be effective (if this is likely to be bacterial) Hope this helps
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