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Gamot sa Trangkaso - The Most Common OTC Medicines for Flu

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 31, 2023

Gamot sa Trangkaso - The Most Common OTC Medicines for Flu

Influenza (flu) or trangkaso is a common viral infection that affects our respiratory system. While medical experts agree that most cases of flu resolve on their own, others might need certain types of medicine to help with their symptoms. What should you know about the different gamot sa trangkaso?

Gamot sa Trangkaso – The Most Common OTC Medicines

As mentioned, the most common OTC medicines for flu are geared towards improving its symptoms.

Some people do not take medications unless they truly feel uncomfortable due to symptoms like clogged nose, headaches, body aches, and fever.

To address the different trangkaso symptoms, these medicines might help:

Antipyretic and Analgesics

If you have the flu, and the accompanying fever or body aches are bothering you, you might want to learn more about antipyretic (anti-fever) and analgesic (pain-reliever) medicines.

In most cases, you don’t need to take separate medicines to reduce your pain and combat high fever. Many brands contain both properties.

The most common examples are:

  • Paracetamol (Acetaminophen)
  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen – Don’t take ibuprofen if you’re pregnant and don’t give it to children under 6 months old.

A Note on Paracetamol:

Many drugs that treat other symptoms (such as cold medicines) also contain paracetamol. Please do not take more than one drug that has paracetamol in them. This is because when taken in high doses, acetaminophen can damage the liver.

The maximum dose for paracetamol is 4 grams a day, that’s why if you’re taking it round-the-clock, you need to wait 4 hours before your next dose.

Now, if you have a liver problem, the maximum daily dose should not exceed 2 grams.

What About Aspirin?

Aspirin can also help improve fever and pains. However, doctors often caution patients on using it because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome – a condition that harms all organs, particularly the brain and liver.

Reye’s syndrome is rare, but it can affect people of all ages. Usually, it happens to children and teenagers who suffered from a viral infection, such as chickenpox or flu.

gamot sa trangkaso


Generally, you use antihistamines to improve allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. However, since these symptoms could also be present when you’re suffering from flu, antihistamines can also be used as gamot sa trangkaso.

Here are some of the most common antihistamine medicines:

  • Diphenhydramine – Please note that this can make you feel sleepy, so avoid complicated tasks, most especially driving or heavy lifting.
  • Loratadine – This is classified as a non-drowsy antihistamine, but it may not be as effective as diphenhydramine.
  • Cetirizine – This is also classified as a non-drowsy antihistamine, but few people still report feeling sleepy after taking this medicine.


Some people do not suffer from a runny nose and watery eyes, but they feel that their nose is “stuffy”. If that’s the case, then it’s probably a clogged nose.

To cure trangkaso symptoms that involve stuffy nose, there are decongestant medicines.

The most common decongestant drugs here in the Philippines are phenylpropanolamine HCL and phenylephrine HCL.

Expectorants and Mucolytics

When you have flu and you’re suffering from thick, sticky mucus, expectorants and mucolytic medicines might help.

They help you breathe easier by thinning the mucus, allowing you to expel them with little difficulty.

The most common expectorant is guaifenesin, while ambroxol is common for a mucolytic.

gamot sa trangkaso


Flu might also come with uncontrollable bouts of cough that hurt your throat and chest. To help ease this particular symptom, one of the gamot sa trangkaso is antitussive medicine. Antitussives generally suppress cough. However, please note that many doctors are against the idea of taking antitussives if you’re suffering from a productive cough. This is because suppressing productive cough does not help in expelling mucus or phlegm.

Often, you can use antitussives for uncontrollable bouts of a dry cough that prevent you from getting enough rest and sleep. One example of an antitussive medicine is dextromethorphan.

What You Need to Know About Anti-flu Medicines

Aside from the common gamot sa trangkaso mentioned above, the doctor may also give you anti-flu drugs if it’s really necessary.

Anti-flu medications are deemed necessary when you have Influenza A and B viral infection or you’re at risk of developing serious complications.

Some of the most common anti-flu medicines are amantadine, zanamivir, and oseltamivir.

Home Remedies for Flu

Doctors emphasize that most cases of flu will improve on their own – even without medication.

To help you recover, you can do the following:

  • Get adequate rest and sleep. Resting gives your body enough strength to fight off the infection. Take a break from work, reduce your activity level, and of course, have enough and good quality of sleep at night.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps with many of the flu symptoms: It aids in decreasing your temperature and contributes to the loosening and expectoration of mucus.
  • Gargle with saltwater. To cure trangkaso symptoms like sore throat, gargling with salt water might help. To prepare, take ½ teaspoon of salt and mix it with a cup or glass of water.
  • Take warm showers. Warm showers are particularly helpful if you’re experiencing a stuffy or clogged nose. If you feel too weak or dizzy to take a shower, steam inhalation is a good alternative.
  • Sleep with an extra pillow. It may not be a gamot sa trangkaso, but adding another pillow under your head might help in draining your sinuses and easing headaches.

Key Takeaways

The different over-the-counter gamot sa trangkaso that we discussed do not actually “cure” flu – they simply help with the discomfort brought about by its symptoms.

While getting enough bedrest, remember to get plenty of rest and fluids. To prevent the spread of flu, stay at home. If you need to go outside, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently.

Learn more about Influenza here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jan 31, 2023

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