FDA warns consumers about fraudulent flu medications

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning today against being fooled by fraudulent or unapproved flu medications.

In a news release, the agency reminded consumers that there are no legally marketed over-the-counter drugs to cure the flu or to prevent it.

The FDA is concerned that the virulence of this year's flu might tempt people to buy bogus or unreliable treatments from online pharmacies.

The agency warns that unscrupulous people may be taking advantage of unsuspecting customers by promoting fraudulent products that have not been approved by the FDA to be safe and effective.

The FDA is also warning against buying Tamiflu from online pharmacies at reduced prices or without a prescription. Those products might not contain the proper amounts, or the legitimate ingredients or could include potentially harmful ingredients. The FDA suggests that consumers only buy prescription drugs from their local pharmacy or through an online pharmacy that requires a valid prescription.

People are still advised to get flu shots to protect them from the disease, even though this year's vaccine is only about 30% effective against the active viruses.

The good news is, the worst of the flu season may have passed in many areas, but it is still expected to hang around through April.

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