oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Managing pain and fever associated with colds and flu : review

Volume 80, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Most symptoms of influenza (flu) are caused by the response of the body to the influenza virus. Paracetamol, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective in treating sore throats, muscle aches and pains, headaches, earaches and fever associated with colds and flu. Paracetamol may be used in children and pregnant women, but can cause hepatotoxicity at higher doses, and should be avoided or used with caution in patients with liver disease. Aspirin should not be used to treat children with a viral infection because of the risk of Reye's syndrome. Both aspirin and NSAIDs may cause gastrointestinal irritation, and should be used with caution in patients who are also taking anticoagulants. Breathing problems, severe nausea and vomiting and persistent or worsening fever are some of the symptoms associated with colds and flu that indicate the need for emergency care.

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