Flu got you down? You should probably lose the bottle of Tylenol.
A new study from researchers in New Zealand followed 46 participants who had the flu virus. About half of the participants were given placebo pills, and the rest were instructed to take 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen -- which comes out to about two extra strength Tylenol pills -- four times a day.
After five days, the Tylenol group wasn't doing any better than the placebo group in terms of symptoms and getting rid of the virus.
Although this is a small study and more research needs to be conducted, you should probably forget Tylenol for now if you have the flu.
If your symptoms aren't super severe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying home (preferably in bed with Netflix) and avoiding contact with others.
But if you're super sick, antiviral drugs (which are different from antibiotics) can be taken to treat symptoms; these should only be taken under the guidance of your doctor.
Want to avoid getting sick altogether? Take some steps to keep your immune system strong throughout the season, such as getting enough sleep, eating your veggies, getting enough exercise and finding time to relax.
Hey, at least you'll be saving some money on Tylenol.
Citations: Yet another study shows Tylenol doesn't work so well — this time for flu (Vox), Randomized controlled trial of the effect of regular paracetamol on influenza infection (Respirology), The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick (CDC)