Flu Symptoms

5 Signs of a Fraudulent Flu Product

Allison Tsai Feb 13th, 2013 (updated Jun 9th, 2015)
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to the public about fraudulent products aimed at preventing or curing the flu. Here are some things to keep in mind.

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It pops up during a particularly bad flu season
It pops up during a particularly bad flu season

Products that suddenly appear during a heightened health threat, such as this year's influenza, are usually unproven, and there is no need to buy them.

Source:
Medical News Today

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It is marketed as a nasal spray, drug or dietary supplement
It is marketed as a nasal spray, drug or dietary supplement

Oftentimes these products are marketed as nasal sprays, drugs and dietary supplements, and are marketed on websites and retail shops. The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease.

Source:
Medical News Today

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It makes undocumented claims
It makes undocumented claims

Big indicators that a product is fraudulent are the types of claims it makes. Watch out for words such as "boosting natural immunity," "prevents the flu," "speeds recovery of the flu" or that it's a "safe, effective alternative to the flu vaccine."

Source:
Medical News Today

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Websites that focus on treating swine flu
Websites that focus on treating swine flu

In 2009, during the swine flu epidemic, many websites popped up claiming to be able to diagnose, prevent, cure, treat and mitigate swine flu. They were all fraudulent claims, and the FDA issued a warning about these products as well.

Source:
Medical News Today

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Online pharmacies selling generic versions
Online pharmacies selling generic versions

Online pharmacies often will try to sell unapproved generic versions of antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu and Relenza. Not only can these drugs be ineffective, but they can be dangerous, as you have no way of knowing exactly what is in the product.

Source:
Medical News Today