Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A Word With My Doctor About The Flu

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A Word With My Doctor About The Flu

    I have atrial fibrillation and take Warfarin (Coumadin) to help prevent blood clots. Every month I get a blood test to make sure I am taking the proper dose of Warfarin to keep my blood thinned to a therapeutic level, but not to a dangerous level.

    Friday evening, I got a call from Dr. M., our primary care/family physician. I have gone for 13 months with stable INR (international normalized ratio) and PT (protime or prothrombin time), tests that measure clotting or coagulation. However, the results of my most resent test were pretty far out of bounds and Dr. M. was concerned about what might be going on. Had I started a new drug? Had my diet changed significantly? Had I been ill? After some discussion, he suggested a change in my dosage of Warfarin and ordered another test in two weeks.

    Then, the topic of our conversation changed to this current flu outbreak. While California still hasn't (maybe it has by today) experienced the CDC definition of a flu epidemic, Dr. M. said his office is being over run by patients coming in with flu. I told him that NL and I have numerous friends and neighbors who are down for the count with all the classic symptoms and suffering. It was then that he told me to call at any time day or night, if either NL or I started to feel the typical symptoms, fever, fatigue, body aches (one of our neighbors said even her teeth ache), cough and congestion. Since I am in a high risk category for complications from the flu and NL is my caregiver, he said he would have no issues with prescribing either Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) that are antiviral drugs that can help you get better faster and reduce the severity of flu symptoms.

    Tamiflu comes in pill form (or oral suspension for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules) and to be effective must be taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. It can be taken as a flu preventative, if you have come in direct contact with someone who has the flu, a family member for instance. Relenza comes in a powder form and is inhaled through the mouth. Like Tamiflu,it works by stopping the flu virus from growing. Relenza must be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms and can be taken preventatively. Neither of these medications is a substitute for the flu vaccine.

    Even though NL and I got the flu vaccine in the fall, there is a 38% chance that we could contract the flu since this current year's vaccine is 62% effective against the strains of flu that are making people sick this season. It is good to know that there is something out there than can help relieve and shorten the suffering. It is also good to know that our doctor is concerned enough about our well being to take the time to talk to me about having a game plan, just in case.

    All the best,
    GJ

    #2
    during winter, i up my zinc intake as that has shown some promise in lessening the effcts of flu. i really miss those zycam nasal swabs. it WORKED the one time i got flu. i think they still make their other products with zinc, just not the swabs.
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

    Comment


      #3
      Tamiflu and Relenza appear not to live up to their marketing hype. Forbes recently published an article about this matter, with specific reference to Tamiflu; the Forbes piece is based on a more technical PubMed article which discusses both Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), and can be read here.
      MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

      Comment


        #4
        Hi "Bonnette,"
        Thanks for the article, A review of unpublished regulatory information from trials of neuraminidase inhibitors (Tamiflu ‐ oseltamivir and Relenza ‐ zanamivir) for influenza.

        The CDC concluded "modest" results in lessening symptoms by 21 hours over placebo, and I would agree that is indeed a short amount of time and very modest. However, if you have impaired lung function, find coughing difficult, if not impossible, and feel like you are going to drown in mucus, you may welcome even that small amount of relief, especially if those few hours prevent development of pneumonia and possibly having to be hospitalized.

        After reading the review, I come away with the feeling that the trials and reporting results about the trials are limited, flawed and/or unavailable. That doesn't necessarily mean that the drugs themselves are ineffective and unworthy of clinical use.

        In my conversation with Dr. M., he indicated he has had very good results using Tamiflu with his elderly patients, immunocompromised patients, and several patients with pulmonary conditions.

        I posted this thread because I haven't read much here about Tamiflu or Relenza and I think the Care Cure population may have something to gain from knowing about them and talking to their doctors about them in case they are struck by the flu, which Dr M. characterized as "particularly nasty this year."

        For one, I feel fortunate that my doctor took the time to discuss these medications with me and assure me something can be done to lessen my suffering should I get the flu and that he feels comfortable in using them.

        All the best,
        GJ

        Comment


          #5
          Indeed a very good doctor. Hope neither of you get it.
          Originally posted by gjnl View Post
          ... It is also good to know that our doctor is concerned enough about our well being to take the time to talk to me about having a game plan, just in case.
          Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

          Comment


            #6
            Hi gjnl. It's indeed a blessing to have a doctor who plans ahead and looks at alternatives.
            MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

            Comment


              #7
              Indeed, you are lucky with your choice of primary care physicians. And while, in my opinion the results of Tamiflu or Relenza are not complete, I would certainly consider taking anything that can lessen the effects of this bug! It is not pretty!
              It is still important to talk to your physician about the specifics of your injury, any medications you are on or any other medical issues you may have.
              CKF
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

              Comment


                #8
                I've been hearing about how nasty the flu is this year as well. I had my flu shot but I'm starting to wish I had gotten the pneumonia shot as well. I'm usually not exposed to the flu since I don't go anywhere, but there are 2 school aged kids in the house I'm in this year so I'm a bit worried. But so far I've managed to stay away from them when sick and not catch things so my fingers are crossed I stay safe!
                Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

                I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

                Comment


                  #9
                  i got it in november despite having the flu shot and landed in the hospital. they thought i had meningitis. severe headache/light sensitivity/body pain that oxycodone barely touched and a fever of well over 103. not pretty
                  "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
                  http://www.elportavoz.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by crypticgimp View Post
                    i got it in november despite having the flu shot and landed in the hospital. they thought i had meningitis. severe headache/light sensitivity/body pain that oxycodone barely touched and a fever of well over 103. not pretty
                    ---Did you get sick within a week or two of getting the flu shot. It takes a week or two for the vaccine to become effective.
                    ---Other viruses have the same symptoms as influenza. You may have caught one of these bugs and developed a “flu-like” illness after being vaccinated.
                    ---You may have become infected by a strain of influenza virus not covered by the current year’s vaccine.

                    Yes, people do get flu even though they had the flu shot, because the vaccine is not 100% effective. This year it is estimated to be about 62% effective. But, for my money, 62% is better than nothing.

                    All the best,
                    GJ

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                      ---Did you get sick within a week or two of getting the flu shot. It takes a week or two for the vaccine to become effective.
                      ---Other viruses have the same symptoms as influenza. You may have caught one of these bugs and developed a “flu-like” illness after being vaccinated.
                      ---You may have become infected by a strain of influenza virus not covered by the current year’s vaccine.

                      Yes, people do get flu even though they had the flu shot, because the vaccine is not 100% effective. This year it is estimated to be about 62% effective. But, for my money, 62% is better than nothing.

                      All the best,
                      GJ
                      dr's are calling it the flu, but in reality have no idea what it was. it was either flu or meningitis and meningitis got ruled out. it was an unnerving time in the hospital. but later, everyone was getting the same symptoms and my dr thinks it's what i had now that more patients are presenting in the same way.

                      but i got my shot in early september.

                      and correct, no flu shot is 100% effective but it is best to get it, especially for folks like us.
                      "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
                      http://www.elportavoz.com/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Bonnette View Post
                        Tamiflu and Relenza appear not to live up to their marketing hype. Forbes recently published an article about this matter, with specific reference to Tamiflu; the Forbes piece is based on a more technical PubMed article which discusses both Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), and can be read here.
                        Wow! Why isn't the public/mass media not talking about this? Everyday they talk about the shortage of these two drugs. I guess the big pharmaceutical companies are paying off a lot of people. Three continents and no substantial proof of either drugs efficacy.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thankyou so much for that imformation about tamiflu and relenza. we try very hard to sanitize hands where ever my husband and i go but just in case we get the start of something i will call my dr. to get a anti virel.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have heard accurate discussions about Tamiflu and Relenza on NPR. And I can tell all of you, pneumonia is not fun. If you start to get any kind of lung congestion, you should arrange for immediate and close monitoring because pneumonia can happen fast. I went from sniffles to the hospital in just 3 days. I got treatment relatively early and that was bad enough.

                            But getting medical attention at this time can be dangerous. I went for an eye checkup this morning. There were not a lot of people waiting, but just about all were coughing, sneezing, and blowing their nose. Of course, they were doing those things improperly including the receptionist. She cupped her hands and coughed in them and continued checking people in and out, handing them things, etc. A bottle of Purell sat on her desk untouched. Glad I took my own pen. With the flu at endemic levels it is not a good time to be out amongst the public.
                            You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                            http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                            See my personal webpage @
                            http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ~Lin View Post
                              I've been hearing about how nasty the flu is this year as well. I had my flu shot but I'm starting to wish I had gotten the pneumonia shot as well. I'm usually not exposed to the flu since I don't go anywhere, but there are 2 school aged kids in the house I'm in this year so I'm a bit worried. But so far I've managed to stay away from them when sick and not catch things so my fingers are crossed I stay safe!
                              Lin, you can get pneumonia vaccine at anytime not just during flu season.
                              Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                              Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X