Flu drugs don't work

Flu season may be ending in much of the nation, but it's possible to get sick any time of year. And whether you get flu in winter, spring, summer or fall, your doctor is almost certainly going to try to put you on a flu drug such as Tamiflu.

I've warned you about these drugs before. I've told you how they do little to nothing for most people, and how you're more likely to battle side effects than enjoy any benefits.

And now, a major new study confirms just what I've been saying all along: Both Tamiflu and Relenza do almost nothing for flu patients.

Overall, the review from the Cochrane Collaboration finds these two drugs may reduce flu symptoms by a total of about half a day when compared to a placebo.

That's it.

Now, maybe you could accept that incredibly minor "benefit" if the drugs could prevent flu complications such as hospitalization and pneumonia, and stop sick people from transmitting the virus.

I've heard it claimed the drugs do all that and more. But the analysis of 20 internal reports on Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and 26 clinical trials on Relenza (zanamivir) confirms they do no such thing.

While the benefits are exaggerated and even fabricated, the risks are very real -- including headache, nausea and vomiting as well as a risk of psychiatric disorders and even kidney problems.

Personally, I think you're better off just lying in bed and waiting for the flu to pass, but the good news is, you don't have to do that, either, because there are safe and natural ways to beat the flu.

And unlike flu drugs, these natural therapies are actually proven to work.

N-acetylcysteine, also known as NAC, can help prevent the flu during the season and treat it if you happen to get it. For prevention, I recommend 600 mg twice a day in winter. And for treatment, take between 2,000 mg and 3,000 mg daily for up to a week.

Studies have shown it can help reduce both the duration and severity of the flu.

In addition, vitamin C can wipe the flu out -- especially in severe cases -- but you'll need more than the dose you can get from a supplement.

For the best results, visit a doctor who can deliver C intravenously.