As millions across the country suffer through what the Center for Disease Control is now calling the worst flu epidemic in almost 10 years, many people turn to readily available medication.

That leads to a debate we set out to verify.

Are Tamiflu and Theraflu comparable?

According to Dr. Joshua Parker at ExpressER in Waco, they are not.

"Tamiflu was created to shorten the duration of the flu virus," Parker said.

In 2009, the Rhode Island Department of Health released a statement stating in part, "Theraflu does nothing to lessen the severity or shorten the duration of flu-related illness."

But, Dr. Parker said it can help someone with symptoms feel slightly better.

"It basically takes the edge off, is what I tell my patients," Parker said.

But, as Tamiflu can have adverse side-effects, Parker said the CDC has strict guidelines on Tamiflu prescriptions.

"It may be difficult for your physician to predict if you're going to have a reaction to the medication they prescribe for influenza or in particular Tamiflu… In the high-risk category, it is strongly recommended to put those patients on Tamiflu," says Parker.

So, are Theraflu and Tamiflu equal? We can verify that claim is false. Tamiflu does more to combat the virus than its store-bought counterpart. But that doesn’t mean Theraflu won’t help with your symptoms.

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