Youre Getting Duped By Marketing
Though there are hundreds of cold and flu products available at your average pharmacy, most of them are really just a handful of different combinations of four basic ingredients: decongestants, pain and fever reducers, cough suppressants, and expectorants .
Each OTC brand, like Robitussin or Vicks, has its own version of almost every combination, and they can also come in multiple forms, such liquid, dissolving tablets, and liquicaps. While it may be nice to have a liquid option if you have trouble swallowing pills or capsules, a lot of these products are driven by marketing to flood the market, even though theyre not that different from each other.
Best Cold Medicine For Runny Nose
A runny nose is one of the ways your body ejects irritants inflaming your nasal passages. A runny nose can also be inconvenient and feel a little bit gross.
If you take a decongestant for a runny nose, your symptoms will get worse before they get better as those types of drugs thin the mucus in your body.
Thats why diphenhydramine might be better for drying up a runny nose. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, which means it reduces your bodys natural reaction to irritants and pathogens. It also might make you drowsy, which is why its best to take this medication at bedtime.
Pharmacist Recommended Cold & Flu Medicines That Wont Break The Bank
As a pharmacist for 12 years, two of the most common questions I am asked are, What is the best medicine to take for the cold and flu? And, How much does it cost? Here are my top recommendations that wont break the bank:
1) Headache, Fever, Muscle Aches, Sore ThroatIbuprofen & Acetaminophen
I often use a combination of the two drugs, separating each by 3-4 hours so that I maintain a more consistent pain relief. Ibuprofen is the best treatment for a sore throat. Acetaminophen is great for a fever. Most people already have one or both of these at home, so the cost is zero.
2) Nasal CongestionPseudoephedrine or Oxymetazoline
I recommend pseudoephedrine over phenylephrine , which is useless. PSE can be a mild stimulant, so start with the 30mg tablets, as opposed to the 12 & 24-hour dosages, to avoid disrupting sleep. PSE should not be used in certain conditions like high blood pressure. In that case, I recommend a topical nasal decongestant like oxymetazoline. The generic formulations of both drugs are inexpensive.
3) CoughingMucinex/No Suppressant or Delsym
4) Other Symptoms, as needed: Loperamide , diphenhydramine
Diarrhea Loperamine is best
Sneezing Diphenhydramine is best, and can help dry out your sinuses. Allergy drugs like Zyrtec take a day or more to start working, so are not the best option.
5) Combination Drugs
Recommended Reading: Prolia And Flu Vaccine Together
A Note On Antihistamines
While antihistamines like chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine can treat sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, theyre intended to treat those symptoms when theyre caused by allergies. If you have a cold or a sinus infection, antihistamines may make it more difficult to treat, says Dr. Tweel. I havent found them to be significant in my practice. Plus, theres a teaching you shouldnt use antihistamines for a cold.
What Are Todays Most Popular Cold Flu Medicine Models
There are many cold flu medicine items accessible today for men and women seeking quality and reliability. Every cold flu medicine model follows the same essential premise. But they appeal to various users.Its no secret that certain products appeal to specific populations. What if you could see which products were the most popular across all consumers? You can, and weve got the list. Check out our collection of products that appear to appeal to all ages, genders, and locations.
Also Check: How Long Does The Flu Vaccine Protect You
Is It Safe To Take A Decongestant If I Have High Blood Pressure
This type of medicine can increase blood pressure and heart rate, and raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Pseudoephedrine is the main decongestant taken by mouth that’s available. In general, if your blood pressure is well controlled with medications, then a decongestant shouldn’t be a problem as long as you closely watch your BP. This may not be true with certain types of blood pressure drugs, so check with your doctor or pharmacist about what may be best for you.
Child Coughing At Night Remedies
For older children, nighttime formulations can help them sleep more comfortably, and products like Mucinex Childrens can help relieve stuffy noses. Usually, over the counter cold medicine for babies and kids is enough to help them when theyre feeling under the weather. But how do you know if its something more than the common cold? Some signs to look for include: fast onset, fever, chills, body aches, and fatigue. If any of these are present, your child may have the flu rather than just a cold. For reference, the common cold is characterized by symptoms that build up gradually over a period of a few days and include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and coughing. While cold medicine for babies, toddlers, and children can help control symptoms, remember that you know your kids best. If something about your baby or child seems off, always trust your instincts and check in with your pediatrician.
You May Like: Coricidin Hbp Maximum Strength Flu Dosage
Important Features To Consider
When purchasing a cold medicine, there are a few factors that you want to look at. You want to make sure that you are able to take it and that the ingredients in it do not interact with anything else that you may be taking. Other things to consider are the length of treatment and more. Here is what to consider when selecting cold medicine.
How Often Should I Use Nasal Spray
Nasal decongestants work fast to open your airways. But if you use them for more than 3 days in a row, you may end up more stuffy than you were at the start.
Some doctors suggest using a saline spray instead of a medicated spray. It may take longer to work, but you wonât have problems down the line.
You May Like: Are Flu Shots Good For A Year
Why Opt For Natural Medication
“Natural” is a vague term, and one thrown around without much thought. A common reminder of this fact is that arsenic is technically natural.
In this instance, natural medicine refers to non-pharmacological interventions and treatments .
There are two reasons you might want to go this route. First, some common pharmacological treatments may have side effects or trigger a reaction .
As a naturopathic doctor, Megen McBride told Insider that many of her patients come to her “looking for healthy alternatives to the common pharmacy drug-shelf choices of cold and flu medicines, NSAIDs, and antihistamines available without a prescription.”
She noted that the primary reason for opting for gentler treatment is the fear of side-effects from pharmacological interventions. “The sheer number of scientific articles cautioning against chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil and ibuprofen, synthetic antihistamines, and painkillers seem too innumerable to count,” McBride said.
“While these products are not a cure for colds or the flu, natural options may help soothe the symptoms of a virus and many people choose them because they better align with their personal health ideologies than conventional medicine,” said pharmacist, Maria Gil-Flores.
It’s important to remember that, as with all dietary supplements, statements made about natural remedies, including these recommendations, have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Best Cold Medicine For Fever And Aches
Fever and aches are triggered by inflammation in your body. Treating the inflammation can bring down your pain levels and soothe discomfort.
Fever and aches are best treated by ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug , as is naproxen. Acetaminophen is another pain reliever that can treat fever and aches.
Read Also: Does Walmart Accept Medicare For Flu Shots
How Much Is Best Cold And Flu Medicines
best cold and flu medicines come in a variety of designs and pricing ranges. Its difficult to predict product costs nowadays. You dont know how much something costs because the pricing range is so vast. For example, a pair of pants can range from $20 to $200 depending on where you buy them. Similarly, additional goods like as best cold and flu medicines.
Other Cold Medicines We Reviewed
- Can be taken every four hours
This is a natural homeopathic remedy with elderberry to help relieve your cold and flu symptoms. It is in an easy to take syrup form.
- Made with black elderberry extract
- No preservatives
Cost: $13*These statements have not been evaluated by the drug and food administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Also Check: How To Get Tested For The Flu
Cold Medicine For Kids
A trusted brand for years, this cold and cough syrup will have your little one feeling better in no time. It helps relieve nasal and other symptoms.
- Helps relieve itchy and watery eyes
- Comes in a convenient three-pack
This value pack contains both a day and a nighttime formula. It helps to relieve even the worst cold symptoms in your child.
How Effective Is Natural Medication
“Natural therapies are generally therapies that work within the natural biological systems and processes of the body,” said McBride. “They’re used for supporting, tonifying, and balancing the body so that our immune responses to infections are more appropriate, and better tolerated to our whole being.”
The efficacy of natural medications is a highly contentious, ongoing debate. This is because we judge efficacy by two standards: Peer-reviewed studies and scientific trials, and anecdotal evidence. And we don’t have nearly as many scientific studies or trials showing herbs, vitamins, and other natural treatments to be unquestionably effective like we do for pharmaceuticals.
However, there’s something important to consider: Many studies and trials are funded by the pharmaceutical industry itself. These studies are needed for FDA approval of a product but they’re expensive, and many companies often can’t get the necessary funding without the kind of backing the industry offers. Thus, natural medications don’t always have equal footing, nor as much opportunity to showcase their power.
Framing of the data is important, too. For instance, while vitamin D may not directly fight the influenza virus, it’s been clinically shown to be a crucial element in immune function, despite arguments against its effectiveness from Western doctors.
McBride also noted that the only flu protection option the NIH and CDC recommend is the flu shot, which reduces the risk of flu by 40 to 60% .
Also Check: Alka Seltzer Cold And Flu And Ibuprofen
Boiron Oscillococcinum For Flu
Another effective all-natural remedy for flu is Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-Like Symptoms Pellets. This medicine comes in the form of small dissolvable pellets that are easy to use for instant relief. The natural formulation works quick to reduce a fever and is safe for users as young as two years of age.
Although it is a very effective natural remedy, there is a downside to Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-Like Symptoms Pellets. That is that it costs much more than any other item on the list, which can make it an impractical choice for people on a budget.
Articles On Flu Treatment
Most cold and flu drugs attack symptoms, not the specific viruses that cause the illnesses. They aren’t a cure, but they can make you feel better or shorten your illness.
There’s no one right way to treat a cold or the flu. But here are some questions you can ask your pharmacist to get the correct over-the-counter medication for you.
Recommended Reading: Should I Take Humira If I Have The Flu
Do You Have A Cold Or The Flu
You feel a tickle in your throat, and then a headache coming on. You start to sniffle or sneeze, and suddenly you feel really tired. You know youre coming down with something but is it a cold, or do you have the flu?
With both conditions your symptoms can include a sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea, says Dr. Denise Campbell-Scherer, an associate professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Alberta. The main difference is that with the flu, youll have a temperature above 37.8°C. Flu symptoms also tend to come on suddenly, are more severe and are at their worst for the first three or four days after that, it can take up to two weeks before you feel better. A cold can linger anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, although one week is typical.
Cold & Flu 101 And How To Get Symptom Relief Withvicks Dayquil And Nyquil
The common cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, but they are caused by different viruses. While the flu is caused only by the influenza virus, colds are caused by rhinovirus and a number of other viruses. The three things that distinguish cold and flu symptoms are severity, speed of onset, and type of symptoms.
A cold typically comes with a stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or sneezing and symptoms develop gradually. Flu symptoms are typically more severe than cold symptoms and tend to come on more quickly. Symptoms more common with the flu include fever, fatigue, and/or aches. Cold and flu symptoms are very similar, though, so itâs best to confirm which respiratory virus you have with a flu test when symptoms arise. Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you need to take a flu test.
Also Check: How Late Can I Get A Flu Shot At Cvs
So What Exactly Is This Bug Thats Going Around
Rhinovirus is one of the bigger types of the common cold, where you may experience a cough, cold, congestion and sometimes a mild fever,Bindiya Gandhi, MD, board-certified in family and integrated medicine with more than 10 years of experience, told The Post. Sometimes, it can be confused with allergies, depending on the time of year, because there are fall allergies aside from spring.
The common cold can last anywhere from three to 10 days, she added.
What’s The Deal With Cough Medicine
An occasional cough clears the gunk from your lungs. But one that goes on and on needs treatment.
On the shelf you’ll find tons of cough medicines with a zillion combinations of decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics/antipyretics, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Ask your pharmacist which, if any, would be right for you.
Read Also: What Does The Flu Affect
Cold Cough & Flu Mucinex Fast
- Pain relief & fever reducer. dayquil/nyquil severe is an over-the-counter medicine that contains acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer that can help soothe sore throat
- Maximum strength cold & flu relief. dayquil/nyquil severe delivers maximum symptom-fighting ingredients to relieve your worst cold & flu symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, fever, and congestion, day or night
- Smallest branded, 4-active, maximum strength daytime liquicaps. dayquil severe offers non-drowsy relief of your cold and flu symptoms, so you can power through your day
- Our smallest most powerful nighttime liquicap. nyquil severe relieves your sneezing, sore throat, headache, minor aches & pains, fever, runny nose, and cough, so you can get the rest you need
- Multi-symptom relief with nyquil severe cold & flu, which also contains a nasal decongestant and dayquil severe cold & flu, which contains an expectorant to help loosen phlegm and thin bronchial secretions to make coughs more productive
Cold And Flu Medicine At Walgreens
Start feeling better faster with cold and flu medicine that treats your specific symptoms. Look for daytime or nighttime relief with cold and flu medications designed to help you get through the day or benefit from a restful night’s sleep. Most cold and flu medicine comes in popular tablet or caplet form, or you could try a quick dissolve tablet or powder for fast relief. Browse cold and flu treatments from popular brands TheraFlu, Alka-Seltzer and Vicks here at Walgreens.com.
Recommended Reading: Is Publix Giving $10 For Flu Shots In 2021
How I Chose These Products
In addition to personally testing dozens of natural cold and flu remedies in my five-plus years as a health and wellness reporter, I called on doctors and pharmacists from different backgrounds to give their expert take. I got suggestions from a board-certified MD who has a background in Ayurveda and TCM, a pharmacist, a naturopathic doctor, and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Fortunately for me , I didn’t have a cold or flu during the process of investigating this story. I do already have a selection of tried-and-true remedies I go to when I’m sick, and I also ran these by the panel of experts who were quoted often in this piece. Those experts include:
Additionally, all recommendations made and advice given was medically reviewed and confirmed by Dr. Pooja Amy Shah, MD, a double board-certified doctor of integrative and family medicine at Mindstream and assistant professor at Columbia University Medical Center.
If You Have Congestion
In the beginning stages of the common cold, it’s not unusual to experience nasal congestion , says Dr. Mandal. Treatments can range from taking a steam vaporizer, drinking plenty of fluids, and using a saline nasal spray.
These types of treatments can loosen up phlegm, help open up the passages, and keep the nasal passages moist, she explains.
Over-the-counter decongestants also help open up the passages by reducing swelling in the nasal passages, adds Dr. Mandal. Nasal sprays such as Afrin and Neo-Synephrine can also be used but should not be used for more than three days at a time because they can cause rebound nasal congestion. Sudafed is another decongestant option that comes in tablet or pill form.
Don’t Miss: How Long Is Flu Vaccine Stable At Room Temperature