Saturday 23 June 2018

Ask the pharmacist: Beat the flu this winter

Essential flu advice from Cormac Loughnane, Superintendent pharmacist at McCabes Pharmacy

Cormac Loughnane, Superintendent pharmacist at McCabes Pharmacy
Cormac Loughnane, Superintendent pharmacist at McCabes Pharmacy

Q: How best can I protect my family from colds and flus at this time of year?

In winter we are often bombarded with information in relation to the dangers of contracting the influenza virus. This is compounded by confusion over what exactly the flu is and also how flu differs from the common cold and other respiratory viruses.

The flu typically presents with symptoms including extreme tiredness, aching limbs and a high temperature which causes sweating. A cold has similar symptoms but is less severe and is usually characterised by a sore throat, cough and a runny nose. 

A good tip I often give to anxious parents is to try to simplify the issue by breaking it down into the three key stages of illness.

1. Prevention

• A good multivitamin will arm your family’s defences and help support immunity. Pharmaton is currently Half Price in McCabes Pharmacy. It can be difficult to get children to eat vegetables which contain all the goodness necessary to support their immunity, so Kiddi Pharmaton Syrup can be very helpful.

• Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to avoid contracting the virus and also the best way to protect your family by eliminating the chance of passing it on.

• Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze.

• Hand-washing is necessary after touching surfaces in and outside the home.

2. Treat the symptoms

• Your McCabes pharmacist is always on hand to advise individuals on the best

treatment for their specific symptoms but as a rule Panadol Extra is great to lower a high temperature during an infection.

Contains Paracetamol. Always read the label.

• Cough syrups help soothe a dry cough or even break up a chesty one. Clearing your chest of stubborn mucus will help prevent a nasty chest infection. We recommend Benylin — they have a full range of cough syrups to treat the whole family.

• Throat sprays are a simple but effective remedy for a raw throat. We recommend Difflam. Contains Benzydamine Hydrochloride. Always read the label.

• Sinus pain or a running nose can easily be resolved with an over-the-counter medicine like NUROFEN COLD & FLU. Contains Ibuprofen. Always read the label.

3. Soothe yourself back to health

• Keep hydrated; your body will struggle to fight infection if you’re dehydrated.

• Stay warm; you can’t regulate body temperature efficiently during illness.

• Get some rest — your pharmacist will offer products that can help you sleep, such as Panadol Night. Contains Paracetamol. Always read the label.

• ‘Feed a flu’ — it’s important to get adequate nutrition during illness.

Following these three simple steps will protect you and your little ones this winter. At McCabes Pharmacy we want you to Live Well. Remember that your McCabes pharmacist is always available to offer advice and service you can trust.

We have 28 locations across the country and in an effort to safeguard families this winter, we’ve recently reduced the price

of the flu vaccine to €10 from €19, so pop in to see us or visit our website — mccabespharmacy.com — to locate your nearest store.

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