Cases of flu and cold are on the rise in France as protective measures against Covid have become less common.
During the winter of 2020, widespread respect for social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing resulted in a reduction in the incidence of seasonal illnesses.
Last year, the French public health body Santé publique registered just over 2,000 children hospitalized with bronchiolitis, while in 2018-19 there were as many as 6,000 per week.
With a society separated by a Covid lockdown, there has also been no influenza epidemic, meaning the population has not developed any herd immunity for this year and is therefore more vulnerable, all the more so. the more people start to mix more freely.
Even in the summer of 2020, a Datacovid-Ipsos survey of 5,000 French adults found that between the weeks of May 12 and May 26, the proportion of people who avoided shaking hands and cuddling decreased by 7%, while the number of people steering away from crowded places such as public transport fell by 11%.
This year, doctors are concerned about another factor known as “vaccine syndrome,” whereby people forget infection control measures even after receiving a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
“They see their first dose as an important step, but their antibodies will not begin to appear until two weeks later, after which they continue to climb gradually,” infectiologist Benjamin Davido told Figaro.
This means that if these people neglect the protective measures they had previously followed, they can still easily catch Covid and other seasonal illnesses.
“We are all going to be more susceptible to respiratory diseases [this year] because last winter, our immune systems were not stimulated, “doctor and journalist Damien Mascret told Franceinfo.
What cold and flu medications can I get over the counter in France?
In France, Exomuc powders are used for stuffy noses, while remedies like Smecta and Ercefuryl treat diarrhea.
For dry coughs, you can buy Clarix or Humex, while for fatty coughs, people use Bronchokod.
Sore throats are treated with medications such as Colludol, Drill Tetracaine, Hexaspray and Humex Sore Throat, as well as Strepsils.
Other French equivalents of drugs that you may already be familiar with include:
- Ibuprofen can be found in Nurofen tablets – as in the UK – as well as Spedfen and Advil. However, the generic drug costs at least half the price.
- Dafalgan (for children aged 1 month to 12 years), which contains paracetamol and is available in different formats. It is the equivalent of Calpol in the UK. For children 12 years of age and over, the most widely used brand of paracetamol is ‘Doliprane‘. Ask for the generic drug to save money.
- Instead of brands such as Theraflu, Beechams, Lemsip or Night Nurse, you will find Fervex soluble powders and Dolirhume tablets, which also contain paracetamol and a decongestant.
- Some flu medications contain paracetamol and caffeine, so they can be replaced with Doliprane and a caffeinated drink. For medicines combining paracetamol and codeine, you can use Codiloprane.
- Cough syrups such as Clarix, Humex, Bronchokod, and Fluimucil are available instead of cough medicines such as Benylin or Nyquil. Using a Codoliprane tablet at bedtime is also effective for nighttime coughs.
- You should also be able to find medications such as Active, Imodium and Gaviscon.
An essential part of saving money is to always request the generic drug using the phrase “the cheapest generic, pleaseWhich can save you up to 50%.
You can find a full list of French equivalents for UK specific drug brands in our article: What are the French equivalents of some common brands of medicines in the UK?
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