Powerful relief also comes when you know the answers to frequently asked questions.
Cold and Flu Prevention
1 What is the flu (influenza)?
The influenza virus, commonly called the flu, is a contagious respiratory infection. Unlike the common cold, the flu causes severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.
Symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Children can have additional gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are uncommon in adults.
CDC, "Seasonal Influenza Q&A",
2 How does the cold and flu spread?
The common cold and flu are mainly spread through coughs and sneezes, which propel droplets up to four feet in the air. These can then land in the mouth, nose or eyes of people nearby. Alternatively, viruses can spread when someone touches these droplets and then touches their mouth or nose.
Most healthy adults may infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop, and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. That means that you will be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
CDC, "How Flu Spreads",
3 How common is the flu?
On average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. Additionally, about 36,000 Americans die on average per year due to flu complications.
CDC, "Key Facts about Influenza (Flu) & Flu Vaccine",
4 Can I catch the same cold or flu twice?
Because the viruses that cause a cold or the flu can mutate, you can catch them more than once, and pass them on to your friends, family or work colleagues. Conversely you can pick up the same cold or flu a week or two later.
Why? That’s because the initial virus has mutated slightly and the immunity that your body generated to fight the virus last time around will no longer be effective against the new strain.
RI.gov, "Health Outlines Myths and Facts About Flu and Flu Shots",
5 When is cold and flu season?
Cold and flu season occurs yearly during autumn and winter, generally peaking in January and February.
CDC, "Cold Verses Flu",
6 If I have a cold or flu, what can I do to stop it from spreading?
If you have a cold or the flu, it’s a good idea whenever possible to stay at home. Cover your mouth and nose or place your head into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze, if you don’t have a tissue. It also helps to regularly wipe down surfaces, telephones, doorknobs, and keyboards with alcohol-based sanitizers. You should also wash your hands regularly.
Ask anyone who’s caring for you to do the same. Use an alcohol-based hand gel if you don’t have access to water and dispose of any used tissues immediately.
CDC, "How Flu Spreads",
CDC, "The Flu: A Guide For Parents", http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/fluguideforparents_trifold.pdf, 8/13
7 Who should get the flu vaccine?
All persons aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated annually; especially people who:
- Are 50 years of age and older
- Have chronic pulmonary disorders -- including asthma, cardiovascular disorders -- except hypertension, renal, hepatic, neurologic hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus)
- Are immunosuppressed
- Are or will be pregnant during the influenza season
Or are household contact and caregivers of children aged younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older
8 Is there a cold vaccine?
No. It’s a common mistake that people refer to the flu vaccine as a cold vaccine. But there are no vaccines for the common cold because there are a large number of viruses that cause the common cold. And since they can mutate, any vaccine would most likely be out of date by the time it was distributed among the population.
9 What is the flu vaccine and when should I get it?
There are two kinds of flu vaccine available in the United States:
- The "flu shot" — an inactivated vaccine containing killed viruses that are given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
- The nasal-spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine"). LAIV is approved for use in healthy people 5 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
It’s best to get vaccinated in October or November, but influenza vaccinations still offer benefits when received later in the season December or later.
10 Can I get the flu from the injected virus?
Injectable influenza virus vaccines are made from influenza viruses that have been inactivated or killed—an inactivated virus cannot give you the flu.
Cold and Flu Treatment
11 How do I know if I have the flu?
A doctor’s exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed a cold, or flu related complications. You should be tested as close as is possible to when symptoms appear— usually within 4-5 days.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, especially if you are at high risk for flu related complications, consult your healthcare provider.
CDC, “Flu Symptoms & Severity”,
CDC, “Rapid Diagnostic Testing for Influenza: Information for Clinical Laboratory Directors”,
CDC, “What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs”,
CDC, “Symptom Relief”,
12 How do I treat my cold or flu symptoms?
To treat a cold or the flu, it’s a good idea to drink lots of fluids. Be sure to avoid drinks like coffee, tea, and colas, as they contain caffeine that can dehydrate you.
Your body also needs energy to fight off infection. If you’ve lost your appetite, try eating simple foods like white rice or soup.
Multi-symptom cold & flu remedies like Theraflu® products contain a combination of active ingredients for symptom relief. Symptom relief will vary by product.
Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly a fever.
Mayo Clinic, “Diseases and Conditions”,
CDC, “How Flu Spreads”,
CDC, “The Flu: Caring for Someone Sick at Home”,
13 How do I treat my nasal and sinus congestion symptoms?
For nasal and sinus congestion, decongestants such as phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine are used for the temporary relief of stuffiness in the nose caused by allergies, colds, or flu. Saline nasal sprays can also open breathing passages and may be used freely.
Theraflu® Day & Night Value Pack, provides powerful Day & Night relief from your worst cold & flu symptoms. The daytime formula treats: nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, headache, body ache, fever and sinus congestion. The nighttime formula treats: sore throat, cough, headache, body ache, fever, runny nose and sneezing.
Do not take both products at the same time or take more than 5 doses in total in any 24-hour period. This product is available in 12 total packets.
14 How do I treat my fever and sore throat symptoms?
For fever and sore throat, pain relievers such as acetaminophen are used to reduce fever and to relieve mild to moderate pain.
Theraflu® ExpressMax® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough combines maximum-strength* medicines available without a prescription, to relieve your worst symptoms so you can feel better fast. This product also treats: nasal congestion, cough, body ache, headache and sinus congestion.
*Maximum-strength per 4-hour dose.
15 How do I treat my cough symptoms?
For coughs, antitussive medications such as dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine are used to help relieve coughs due to colds and flu.
Theraflu® ExpressMax® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough combines maximum-strength* medicines available without a prescription to relieve your worst symptoms so you can feel better fast. This product also treats: nasal congestion, cough, body ache, headache and sinus congestion.
Maximum-strength per 4 hour dose.
16 How do I treat my runny nose, sneezing, watery and itchy eye symptoms?
For runny nose, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine help relieve itchy, watery eyes; sneezing, and runny nose caused by allergies, hay fever, and the common cold.
Theraflu® Nighttime Multi-Symptom Severe Cold with Lipton® Flavors relieves runny nose, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, coughing, nasal congestion, body aches, sore throat, fever, headache and sinus congestion with the power you’ve come to expect from Theraflu® brand products and the great taste of Lipton® Green Tea & Honey Lemon Flavors.
17 Do I need to take antibiotics for my cold or flu?
Because antibiotics kill bacteria and colds and the flu are caused by viruses, under normal circumstances, you should not need to take antibiotics for a cold or flu. If you develop symptoms not normally associated with a cold or the flu, please see your healthcare professional.
Your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics to clear up a bacterial infection in your ears, sinuses, throat or chest, which may be related to having a cold or the flu.
CDC, “Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs”,
18 How soon can I expect to feel relief from cold and flu symptoms?
When it comes to a cold, most people recover within a few days without requiring medical attention. When it comes to the flu, most people recover within a week without requiring medical attention. Response will vary for everyone.
Theraflu® cold and flu medicines will help ease the symptoms, but they will not cure or shorten the duration of your cold or flu. Contact your healthcare professional if symptoms get worse or don’t start to improve after one week.
CDC, “The Flu: A Guide For Parents”,
19 I have a cold or the flu, how long will I be contagious?
If you catch the flu, you’re contagious for one to two days before you start to show symptoms and for five to seven days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to pass on the flu to someone before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.
As for a cold, you are most contagious for the first 2 or 3 days. A cold is usually not contagious after the first week.
MedlinePlus, “Common Cold”,
CDC, “How Flu Spreads”,
CDC, “Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs”,
CDC, “The flu. Caring for someone sick at home”,
20 Can the flu lead to serious health complications or death?
Of the 5 to 20 percent of the people in the United States that catches the flu each year, 200,000 result in hospitalizations. Some of the complications caused by flu include bacterial pneumonia and dehydration.
High-risk patients include children younger than age two, adults age 65 or older, and people of any age with certain medical conditions, such as chronic heart, lung, kidney, liver, blood or metabolic diseases (such as diabetes), or weakened immune systems.
About Theraflu® Products
21 What symptoms do Theraflu products relieve?
Theraflu products can help relieve your most severe cold and flu symptoms including nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, body ache, fever, and sinus congestion. Some products will also relieve runny nose, sneezing and coughing.
22 What forms do Theraflu products come in?
Theraflu products are available in a powder that dissolves in water; PowerPods that are compatible with most single-serve coffee makers; a variety of ExpressMax syrups; as well as ExpressMax caplets. Each form has a day or night option that can be used to treat a multitude of severe cold and flu symptoms.
23 How do I make Theraflu hot liquid powder?
To make Theraflu hot liquid powder, you should dissolve the contents of one packet into 8 oz. of hot water. Make sure to sip while hot and consume the entire drink within 10-15 minutes. If you’re using a microwave, add contents of one packet to 8 oz. of cool water; stir briskly before and after heating. Be sure to not overheat.
Do not take more than the amount stated on the label unless directed by a doctor.
24 How long will relief from Theraflu products last?
Theraflu products relieve symptoms for up to 4 hours per dose.
For Theraflu liquids, take every 4 hours in dosing cup provided, while symptoms persist. Do not take more than 5 doses or 150 mL in 24 hours unless directed by a doctor.
For Theraflu Hot Liquid Powder you should dissolve the contents of one packet into 8 oz. of hot water, sip while hot and consume the entire drink within 10-15 minutes. Do not take more than the amount stated on the label unless directed by a doctor.
25 If I miss a dose, can I take an extra Theraflu dose?
If symptoms persist, you should take the next dose as directed. Never take two doses at once.
Severe liver damage may occur if you take:
- More than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen in 24 hours
- With other medicines containing acetaminophen
- Or have three or more alcoholic drinks a day while using Theraflu products
26 Can I drink alcohol while taking Theraflu?
We do not recommend drinking alcohol while taking any medication.
Please read the drug facts on the package and speak to your healthcare professional with questions about alcohol consumption with your medical treatments.
Severe liver damage may occur if you consume three or more alcoholic drinks a day while using Theraflu products.
27 Can I take Theraflu if I’m pregnant or nursing?
As with any medication, consult your healthcare professional before taking it while pregnant or nursing.
28 I took more than the recommended Theraflu dose. What should I do?
If you suspect that you’ve taken more than a normal dosage of Theraflu, get medical help or contact the Poison Control Center immediately.
Quick medical attention is critical for both adults and children, even if you don’t notice any signs or symptoms.
Taking more than the recommended dose can cause serious health problems, including liver damage.
29 What’s the purpose of the variety of ingredients in different Theraflu products?
Each ingredient found in Theraflu products play a key role in easing your flu and cold symptoms.
- Acetaminophen acts as a pain reliever and fever reducer
- Chlorpheniramine maleate and Pheniramine maleate are antihistamine that relieves hay fever and common cold symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.
- Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is an antihistamine and cough suppressant that relieves hay fever and common cold symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and a dry cough.
- Dextromethorphan hydrobromide is a cough suppressant that relieves a dry cough.
- Phenylephrine hydrochloride is a nasal decongestant that helps clear your sinuses by reducing swelling and restricting mucous production.
30 Can I take Theraflu if I’m pregnant or nursing?
Theraflu products are available at most major retailers, pharmacies and online.
31 Can I use Theraflu products past their expiration date?
You should never use any medicine after the expiration date marked on the package. You should appropriately dispose of any expired products.
32 Does Theraflu still partner with Lipton Products?
No, Lipton tea flavors are no longer part of Theraflu products. However, the Tea Infusion Flavors give Theraflu the same great taste you expect while relieving your cold and flu symptoms. The comforting flavors of green tea and honey lemon, and green tea and citrus flavors are all part of the Theraflu family.
What You Need to Know About Theraflu PowerPods
33 How do I use Theraflu PowerPods?
To use, cut the pouch on the dotted line to take out the pod. Place the pod in the brewer and place your mug on the drip tray below the nozzle. Use a minimum of 8 oz. of water. Press the brew button to brew. Sip Theraflu while hot. Consume the entire drink within 10-15 minutes.
Please see our instructional video, and for more information please refer to the drug facts on the carton.
34 Can I use more or less than 8 oz. of water with my machine?
Theraflu PowerPods are best brewed on the 8 oz. setting. Lesser settings are to be avoided. Always follow all directions on the Theraflu PowerPods product label.
35 How do I clean my single-serve machine after use with Theraflu PowerPods?
When you are finished brewing a Theraflu PowerPod, remove the used pod and flush the brewer after use with a minimum of 8 oz. of water.
36 Is there concern that the medication in the Theraflu PowerPods product will be diluted during the brewing process?
No, Theraflu PowerPods are designed to have the stated amount of medication needed for relief when brewed.
37 Will my next drink taste like medicine?
Machine manufacturers recommend flushing your brewer between different beverages to preserve taste. When you are finished brewing Theraflu, remove the used pod and flush your brewer with a minimum of 8 oz. of water.
38 How many Theraflu PowerPods product servings can I drink in one day?
You can use up to 5 Theraflu PowerPods in 24 hours. You can brew 1 pod every 4 hours while symptoms persist. Always follow all directions on the Theraflu PowerPods product label. Do not combine with other medication without talking with your physician or pharmacist.
39 If I forgot to drink my Theraflu PowerPods product, can I double my next dose?
No, you should never drink more than one Theraflu PowerPod at once. Always follow the directions on the Theraflu PowerPods product label.
40 Can I drink the Theraflu PowerPods product while taking another Theraflu treatment?
You should not consume one Theraflu product within four hours (before or after) of taking another Theraflu formulation. No two doses should be taken at the same time. Always follow all directions on the Theraflu PowerPods product label.
41 I mistakenly brewed a Theraflu PowerPods product for myself, what should I do?
Discard the beverage, if not needed.
42 Do Theraflu PowerPods come in a nighttime formula?
Yes, there is a nighttime formula Theraflu PowerPods. It contains an antihistamine for runny nose and sneezing.
Please see our Theraflu PowerPods Nighttime product video for more information.
43 What flavors are Theraflu PowerPods day and night products available in?
Theraflu PowerPods Daytime Severe Cold is available in Berry Infused with Menthol & Green Tea flavor. Theraflu PowerPods Nighttime Severe Cold is available in Honey Lemon Infused with Chamomile & White Tea flavors.
44 Where can I find the Theraflu PowerPods product?
Theraflu PowerPods are available in the cold and flu aisle at major retailers throughout the US.
Other Valuable Info About Theraflu PowerPods
45 What machines are compatible with Theraflu PowerPods brewing pods?
Theraflu PowerPods single-serve brewing pods are compatible with all K-Cup format single-serve coffee pod machines including Keurig, Mr. Coffee, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, iCoffee, Aicok, Bella, Black + Decker, Aquverse, and Chulux.*
*This product is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers listed above.
46 What are the dimensions of the pod?
The top diameter is 2.002 inches, the height is 1.751 inches and the bottom diameter is 1.42 inches.
47 What is the pouch around the pod for?
The pouch around the pod keeps the medicine fresh and is also another safety barrier for children under 12 years of age.
48 Are Theraflu PowerPods brewing pods reusable?
Theraflu PowerPods are single-use-only pods and are not reusable.