Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
Flu like symptoms? Self-care is the best way
05 January 2018

If like many other people you are experiencing flu like symptoms, self-care is often the best way of making a quick recovery.

Typical symptoms include:

  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • dry, chesty cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • nausea and being sick

To help you get better more quickly:

  • get some rest and sleep
  • keep warm
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Your local pharmacist can provide treatment advice and recommend flu remedies. Many flu remedies from the pharmacy contain paracetamol or ibuprofen. It is therefore important to be careful not to use them in addition to paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets, to avoid taking more than the recommended dose. It is also important to speak to a pharmacist before giving medicines to children.

Local GP Dr Simon Watkins “It’s been widely reported over the last few days the NHS is experiencing huge pressures and this is equally true of local GP practices who are seeing people turn up with colds and flu-like symptoms seeking advice and treatment.

Unfortunately, antibiotics don't work for common coughs and colds, or even the flu, and therefore don’t speed up your recovery, and whilst we would never discourage people from seeking advice from their GP, in the case of coughs, cold and flu we would ask people not to attend surgeries where possible as they can risk spreading the infection further in places where there are likely to be people who are more vulnerable to illness.

The best way to get better is self-care.

Symptoms usually last around a week and clear up by themselves, but if you are experiencing them for longer please seek advice.”

When you become ill choosing the most appropriate care for your symptoms can help you get seen quicker and can ensure services are available for people who need them most. For more information, visit

You may be eligible for a free flu jab – visit for more information.