Tags: Cold/Flu | cold | remedies

Do Non-Prescription Cold Remedies Work?

By    |   Monday, 03 November 2014 10:26 AM

Question: What's the best over-the-counter treatment for a cold? I've read that most of the cold remedies are worthless.
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
I am sorry to report this, but most cold remedies treat symptoms only and will not shorten your cold's duration of illness. Comfort measures make you comfortable and include vaporizers, nasal saline mist to help dry up a runny nose, Sudafed for nasal congestion relief, and Tylenol for headaches and pains.
Avoid using cough suppressants regularly. Sometimes an inhaled bronchodilator such as Albuterol opens up a swollen airway enough to relieve cough without having to resort to the drowsiness and side effects of cough suppressant use. Cough suppressants hinder the clearing of secretions in the lungs, may prolong the recovery and be dangerous for those with pre-existing lung disorders.
No antivirals work with the common cold, and cortisone preparations are immune suppressive and are generally discouraged, as they may increase the duration and  incidence of complications of the common cold.
There may be some wisdom in boosting vitamin C intake during an illness. Taking a 500-milligram tablet three times a day for seven to 10 days may shorten illness, and the earlier it is started the better. The over-the-counter agents touted for cold use are ineffective for most people, and will simply serve to empty
your wallet.

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Most cold remedies treat symptoms only and will not shorten your cold's duration of illness.
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Monday, 03 November 2014 10:26 AM
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