Pharmacist says natural drugs can work as well as Tamiflu to fight flu

Pharmacists said they are doing their best to keep Tamiflu on the shelves during this historic flu season, but even if they don’t have it, there are great alternatives.

Craig Lucie, WSBTV, Feb 8, 2018

Channel 2’s Craig Lucie spoke with the pharmacist and owner of Little Five Points Pharmacy who recommended some natural alternatives you can buy to keep the flu at bay.

Pharmacist Ira Katz explained to Lucie why he likes natural products.

“The beauty of homeopathy is there are no adverse effects associated with them, no drug interactions associated with them, so if the patient is diabetic and hypertensive… this is something that, again, I would always encourage you to talk to your doctor first, but it is something safe for them,” Katz said.

Katz said some people have encountered shortages of Tamiflu in the area.

“There are some shortages of Tamiflu. It is available but not quite as readily as a lot of people would like for it to be. You may have to make a couple phone calls,” Katz said.

If you’re looking for alternatives, Katz said he has them. But he warns people to contact their doctor before making any major changes.

One drug Katz typically recommends is oscillococcinum. It’s marketed as a homeopathic drug to relieve influenza-like symptoms. He said it is one of the top selling products in Europe.

Katz said he sold out of two displays of Viracid in just 24 hours. The drug helps fight the cold and flu.

Another homeopathic drug Katz recommends is Ortho Biotic. He also recommends Elderberry, which he said helps boost the immune system.

“It’s an antioxidant that helps the body boost the immune system,” Katz said.

Katz also said it’s also important to stay hydrated. He likes a product called Ultima, which has zero sugar and calories

“These are powdered electrolytes,” Katz said.

Katz’s customers said so far his remedies have kept them healthy.

“I would certainly consider an alternative,” said Martha Abbott-Shim.

Katz said he wants people to have options if they are in a bind and no Tamiflu is available, or if they’re pregnant and didn’t want to take it.

Doctors said to always wash your hands and avoid touching your face if you're around a lot of people.

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