Local pharmacies working to keep up with flu surge

WICHITA FALLS - With the flu season in full swing and not expected to loosen its grip anytime soon, local pharmacies are staying busy.

As hospitals and doctor's offices continue to see more patients with cases of the flu and other related illnesses, local pharmacies are doing all they can to keep up to make sure the proper prescriptions stay on their shelves.

"It was really bad," Wichita Falls resident Savannah Carter said. "I had a temperature of about 103 and I was hospitalized for about a night or two."

Carter remembers the time she was hit with the flu. Though she caught the bug caught a long time ago, she has her flu shot and takes other measures to prevent the flu.

"I take vitamins now to make sure I don't get it again," Carter said.

At the United Market Street Pharmacy, flu prescriptions, over the counter vitamins and medications are flying off the shelves.

"We're getting record numbers every week so, it's not just flu, we have a lot of other sicknesses going around," pharmacist Ryan Wells said.

While they have enough Tamiflu prescriptions available at this time, some over the counter medications are clearing much faster.

"A lot of doctors are pushing something called Oscillococcinum, which is out everywhere," Wells said.

Wells says Oscillococcinum even cleared out at United Market Street but other products are still selling.

"Anything that has the word flu in it, people are going to buy it from a marketing standpoint," Well said. "It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be the best but it is a start."

Wells says over the counter medications do not prevent the flu but they do help ease symptoms. While medications like Theraflu can cover a broad spectrum of symptoms, he says other medications can battle more specific symptoms.

"For runny nose, you can always get histamines. We have Sudafed for decongestants and some other products as well but that takes care of the upper stuff," Wells said. "If someone has a cough, we treat that with over the counter cough suppresants."

If you don't want to take any risks, Wells suggests to see a doctor immediately if you're not getting better and says it's always good to reach out to a health care professional to find which specific product is best for you.

If you haven't yet, Wells also urges to get your flu shot. For a list of locations where you can get vaccinated, click here.

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