Common prescriptions can amplify a flu infection

One of the most surprising things about the Covid pandemic was the fact that by and large, we no longer had to worry about the flu. In fact, while we were busy masking up and staying six feet apart, flu cases dropped exponentially — for a while.

However, flu season is definitely back. And for many of us (if not the majority), those mitigation steps that suppressed the flu have fallen by the wayside.

So what can we expect?

Experts are projecting a sharp rebound in flu cases. And it’s time to start taking extra flu precautions, especially if you take certain common medications that may affect how the flu virus can affect you…

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Changing the way the flu virus reacts with your cells

Experiments performed by researchers at NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and universities in Estonia and Finland have shown that commonly prescribed medications used for completely different conditions can make the flu virus more or less active.

“Some of the medicines amplify the effect of viruses in the cells, while others dampen them. The response depends on the target of the drugs in our cells. If the drug target is important for the spread of the virus, we can curb virus activity. But if the target of the medicine is part of the immune system that protects us from viruses, and we inhibit it with the medicine, the virus activity can increase,” explained Denis Kainov, a professor in NTNU’s Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

In other words, some of us are on medications that may worsen or dampen the way our bodies would otherwise react to the flu virus.

Drugs they identified include:

  • Atorvastatin – A medication that reduces blood cholesterol levels and prevents atherosclerosis.
  • Candesartan – A drug that is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
  • Hydroxocobalamin – A medication that is prescribed to treat vitamin B12 deficiency.

And if you didn’t catch it, these drugs have a couple of very worrisome commonalities.

The first is that two of these are used for patients with heart problems.

And the second is that all of these medications are often prescribed for the elderly — the very people who are at most risk of complications from the flu.

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Flu preparations to get you ready for the season

The results don’t show what consequences these interactions might have for patients in practice, yet. More research is needed to see exactly how different medications influence disease outcomes in patients.

What does this mean for you?

Firstly, don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without talking to the prescribing doctor.

Secondly, take all the best-known precautions to avoid getting the flu.

But since we’ve already been warned that the H3N2 strain, which is currently circulating, is not among the types of flu that this season’s vaccine specifically guards against, you’ll need to be extra vigilant, in addition.

First, follow these five steps to boost your immune system.

Additionally, add in an elderberry supplement that also offers a big hit of other antioxidants like acai and goji berry to further enhance your immunity.

It can also help to switch to a keto diet which has been shown to suppress a serious strain of influenza.

Finally, if you do end up with the flu this year, pay attention if any long flu symptoms are lingering that you need to get checked out.

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Is a Bad Flu Season Coming? Study Projects Sharp Rebound Following Relaxation of COVID Distancing Measures. – Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Common medications alter flu virus activity – EurekAlert!

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Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.