ANCHOR LEAD : IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO KEEP PRESCRIPTION ANTIVIRAL DRUGS ON HAND AT HOME? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Taking antiviral drugs when someone in your household has already developed the flu can either help you avoid infection entirely or may reduce symptoms, several recent studies have shown. But people should think carefully about obtaining these prescription medications to keep on hand at home, says Cecelia Johnston, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins.
JOHNSTON: I don’t think stockpiling antivirals is really necessary. If somebody you know has the flu and they live in your household you could always get a prescription from your provider and that doesn’t require stockpiling. Tamiflu is actually fairly expensive and has an expiration date, so to actually stockpile for a particular year you’d have to replace your lot every year, so it doesn’t quite make sense for several reasons. :24
Johnston says for most people, the best protection from the flu will come from obtaining the current vaccination annually. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.