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Dr. Kiersz in Statesman: Does Elderberry Prevent Flu?

When Austin American-Statesman heard that the over-the-counter medicine elderberry was becoming scarce at local stores due to its believed flu-prevention powers they reached out to Austin Regional Clinic to learn more.

Said Family Medicine physician, Barbara Kiersz, DO, “It might.” But there is limited research and the risk is that by taking elderberry for a few days, you might miss the window when Tamiflu, a prescription medicine for treating flu, is effective.

You can take both at the same time, she guides.

Elderberry does not prevent you from getting sick. Washing your hands often, staying away from persons showing symptoms and getting a flu shot are still your best defense against getting the flu

Most of the time flu will go away on its own, Dr. Kiersz told the Statesman. The danger with flu is that children or people who are older could develop something else like pneumonia, a muscle pain condition, viral meningitis or a heart attack.

Bottom line — If you’re feeling very ill, visit your doctor and get properly diagnosed and treated.

Read the complete article on Austin360.com.

Haven’t yet had a flu shot? Contact Austin Regional Clinic and schedule one today. Call 512-272-4636 or request an appointment online.

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