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Consumer Reports Swine Flu Survival Kit Prepares Consumers for Potentially Tough Flu Season This Fall
Date:8/3/2009

rst-aid kit that includes any prescription or over-the-counter medications your family might need; as well as antihistamines for allergic reactions, pain relievers, stomach and antidiarrhea remedies, and antacids.

The government is currently preparing a vaccine against the swine flu that will likely be recommended for school-age children and other high-risk individuals, such as pregnant women, those with chronic illness, and those who live or work with infants, preschoolers, or older adults. In the meantime, Consumer Reports recommends that everyone - but especially high-risk people - get vaccinated against regular, seasonal flu before December when that infection usually arrives.

"This could be an especially big year for flu, so people need to take every precaution and double their efforts to safeguard their families," says Joel Keehn, senior editor, Consumer Reports. Even when the vaccine doesn't prevent seasonal flu, it often lessens its symptoms. In terms of treatments, certain antiviral drugs can not only ease symptoms of seasonal flu but also shorten its duration and possibly prevent complications as well. Some of those drugs probably help against swine flu too. Antivirals work best if taken early on in the illness, so it's best to take them at the first sign of symptoms.

Brands to Buy and Brands to Skip

Also in this issue, in a side by side comparison, Consumer Reports identifies the Consumer Reports Best Buy Drug choices to treat eight common conditions, including Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), heartburn, and insomnia that can save consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. For example, consumers who need to lower their LDL ("bad") cholesterol by less than 30 percent can save nearly $1,000 a year by taking lovastatin, a generic statin, instead of taking Lipitor, a more expensive brand-name drug. Launched in
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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