East Texans searching for flu meds

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - As if fighting the flu isn't hard enough, lately some East Texans have had to go door to door to find medicine.

"Most of the pharmacies did not have Relenza in stock," said Carey Prosperie.

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Tyler said Relenza has been in high demand this season. Doctors said that is because Tamiflu is not as effective with a common strain of the flu.

"Tamiflu is shown to be a resistant to some strains of a so I'm usually writing Tamiflu when it's strain B," explained Dr. Christine Powell, M.D. "Flu A is more upper respiratory and flu B is a little bit more stomach involvement diarrhea, abdominal pain."

While some pharmacies may be short-stocked, doctors say to call around because meds are out there and available. Prosperie, for instance, said he had a rush of customers come in to his medicine shoppe.

"I was fortunate I had it and I got it in stock immediately and I was one of the lucky ones," said Prosperie.

At Trinity Mother Francis Directcare in Tyler, they've seen just mild flu in patients. If it does get bad and you catch it early, it may be wise to get a prescription as opposed to using over the counter drugs.

"The antiviral medicine that the doctor prescribes will shorten the course by about 2 days and stop the viral spreading but over the counter things will be mostly symptomatic cures," said Powell.

While there's been some minor setbacks with medication shortages, pharmacies said it is getting better and they're getting replenished to help you fight the flu.

If you never got a flu shot, doctors say it isn't too late. They are still available and cost around 10 bucks. Flu season lasts through about mid-March.