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Best Over The Counter Flu Medicine 2020

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Which Flu Treatment Works Best For My Cough

5 Best Over-The-Counter Medicines You Should Keep In Your Home

An occasional cough may clear the lung of pollutants and excess phlegm. A persistent cough should be diagnosed and treated specifically. On the pharmacy shelf, you’ll find numerous cough medicines with various combinations of decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics/antipyretics, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Ask your pharmacist which combination, if any, would be appropriate for your cough.Ã Some research suggests that honey may help suppress a cough- but do not use in anyone under the age of one as it may cause a type of food poisoning called botulism in younger children.

Will An Antibiotic Work For The Flu

The short answer is simply this: no. The flu is caused by a virus, Dr. Blad says. Antibiotics are utilized for treating infections caused by bacteria and are not effective for treating the flu.

Dr. Wilkes agrees, and adds that antiviral medicationslike the ones listed abovecan improve symptoms and decrease the severity and duration of influenza.

Harney & Sons Organic Peppermint Tea

Helps with: Sore throat, cough

If your mom ever served you warm tea with honey when you were sick, she was on the right track. Austin-based Sarah Talbot, a registered nurse and physician’s assistant with FetchMD told Insider that warm tea with honey, as well as throat lozenges, can help to soothe a sore throat or cough.

An easy, at-home approach is to combine lemon juice and honey in hot water. But if you want more flavor, try Harney & Sons Organic Peppermint Tea with honey stirred in.

While there isn’t any evidence that honey can help fight the COVID-19 virus, researchers are actually looking into that very question. That’s because past studies do show honey boosts healing in general through antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, among others, reports a 2018 study in Molecules. Research also shows it’s potentially more effective at reducing coughing in children than a lot of other remedies, including OTC cough suppressants.

As for the tea, scientists have found peppermint teas and oils may contain illness-fighting effects. The menthol in the plant, among others, has excellent antibacterial properties, according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Oleo Science. Other herbs, oils, and teas are also being studied, with some mixed results, including elderberry, chamomile, and more.

Other peppermint teas work but we like Harney & Sons as the tea is made from 100% Oregon-grown peppermint leaves.

Recommended Reading: Penn State Health Flu Shots

Can Colds And The Flu Be Cured With Medications

No medicines can “cure” colds and flu. However, there are many over-the-counter medicines that can ease the discomfort caused by the symptoms of colds and flu. In addition, there are prescription medicines and a vaccine that can treat and prevent the flu.

Note on antibiotics: Colds and the flu are causes by viruses and cannot be cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat and ear, skin and urinary tract infections. Using antibiotics for infections they are not able to treat makes the antibiotics less effective for infections they are supposed to treat . Never take antibiotics to treat colds and flu.

To ease the discomfort from specific cold and flu symptoms, consider using the following types of OTC medicines:

Whats The Best Medicine For The Flu

Best Over the Counter Flu Remedy 2020

This is a tricky question because the answer can change wildly depending on the circumstance. Whats best depends on the clinical situationwhether the patient needs IV or inhaled treatments, Dr. Wilk says. It also depends on the presence of oseltamivir-resistant flu strains in the community. If there isnt a resistant strain, oseltamivir is an excellent choice for most people.

Also Check: Recommended Age For Flu Vaccine

How Does Cold Medicine Work

Each cold medicine works differently depending on the active ingredients included in it. Decongestants such as phenylephrine work by decreasing swelling in your nose and ears in order to reduce your discomfort. Antihistamines used to relieve cold symptoms such as chlorpheniramine work by blocking not only histamines but also acetylcholine, and are thought to help dry up certain bodily fluids and relieve symptoms like watery eyes and runny nose. Pain relievers and fever reducers like ibuprofen work to reduce inflammation by blocking your bodyâs production of certain natural substances, which in turns helps to decrease swelling, pain, and/or fever.

Ibuprofen For Pain And Fever

Ibuprofen can be given for pain and symptoms of fever in adults and children of 3 months and over, according to their weight. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.

Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma, unless advised by your doctor.

Read Also: How Does Flu Medicine Work

The Best Medicine For Runny Nose Sneezing And Itchy Watery Eyes:

Antihistamines, as noted above, are often found in combination cold and flu medication because they help treat sniffling, sneezing, itchy, and watery eyes and are the best meds for drying up a runny nose. Options include doxylamine , brompheniramine , and diphenhydramine . Some antihistamines also help you sleep through the night because they can cause drowsiness.

Do You Have A Cold Or The Flu

What over-the-counter medicine works best at kicking the cough of the common cold and bronchitis?

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.

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Which Treatments Should I Take For Flu Symptoms

The flu treatment you should take depends on your symptoms. For example, if you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant can be helpful.

come in oral or nasal spray forms. Decongestants are used to reduce swelling in the nasal passageways. However, nasal spray decongestants should not be used for more than a few days because, if they are used too long and then stopped, they can cause rebound symptoms.

If you have a runny nose, postnasal drip, or itchy, watery eyes — then an antihistamine may be helpful for your flu symptoms. Antihistamines block the effect of “histamine,” and help relieve such annoying symptoms as sneezing, itching, and nasal discharge.

Some over-the-counter antihistamines often make people drowsy, whereas decongestants can make people hyper or keep them awake. Keep in mind that both decongestants and antihistamines can interact with other drugs you may be taking, and they may aggravate some conditions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which flu symptom treatment is best for you.

Can I Get A Over The Counter Flu Medicine For A Reasonable Price

Lifelong companionship is typical for over the counter flu medicine. When you fast open your lid, spending more money will reward you with increased speed, a better view, and better quality of the product. Again, the average price of a new over the counter flu medicine is between $$ and $$$. Okay, so some luxury options are not available.

Also Check: Best Flu Vaccine For Over 65

Top 15 List Of Best Cold And Flu Medicine Over The Counter Is Given Below

Finding the best cold and flu medicine over the counter is very important for them to get fit. To help you find the right one, we analyzed the best-selling products on Amazon and other online retailers. We took into consideration several factors, which include ease of use, durability, weight capacity, and how much space is available in your home.

Weve worked with top experts to find the best cold and flu medicine over the counter in the market. The list below is a compilation of the best selection that you can find in stores. The first and second place have been awarded because they both have excellent features that will bring satisfaction to the buyer.


If youre looking for top-quality cold and flu medicine over the counter to help you with your product, we have the perfect solution for you. We update our list of products regularly so that it features only what matters most and is tailored towards meeting your individual requirements.

Weve compiled a list of the top 15 best cold and flu medicine over the counter on the market, after having done extensive research providing real facts and details about each product. We also consider how each represents value for money in our reviews to help our readers get the best deal possible. If you have questions about our reviews or would like to learn more, dont hesitate to get in touch.

What Is A Severe Symptom

Best Cold and Flu Medicine in 2020

It’s important to distinguish more mild and common symptoms from emergency symptoms. You only want to use the treatments here for non-life-threatening cases and not as a replacement for emergency help.

According to the CDC, difficulty breathing or any severe symptoms such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and bluish lips or face, are classified as serious.

In these cases, head directly to the emergency room, or call 911.

Recommended Reading: Flu Shot And Shingles Shot Same Day

What Are Symptoms Of The Flu

If you have the flu, your symptoms will be much more severe than a cold. Flu symptoms happen fast, and they usually include a sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fever, cough, and congestion. You could also experience vomiting and diarrhea if you have the flu. Fever and stomach issues are two of the most important factors in determining whether itâs the cold or flu. If your symptoms persist for more than a week, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Recommended Reading: Flu Medicine Prescribed By Doctors

The Value For Money Is:

One of the sayings goes, you get what you pay for.. Buying something for the lowest price is almost never a good idea. Therefore, buying an expensive product with no real value isn’t a good choice at all. The key to evaluating the value of your over the counter flu medicine is to evaluate what you’re getting for your money.

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What Else Can I Do To Prevent Getting Colds And The Flu

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcoholic hand wipes. Cold and flu viruses are spread by touching your nose or mouth after touching an infected person, breathing in the air of an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or touching objects that have come in contact with the virus and then touching your nose.

Other prevention tips are to eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of liquids , and avoid close contact with people who have colds. Also, get an annual flu vaccine.

What Works What Doesnt And What May Actually Be Dangerous

The Best OTC Cold & Flu Medications

There are a lot of cold and flu meds on the market. Some work pretty well others, not so much. And most have side effects, even when taken short-term. Thats why its usually a good bet to start with home remedies, which often provide relief and tend to be safer than drugs. And itâs almost never a good idea to ask your doctor for antibiotics: those drugs donât work against the cold or flu.

Note that most drugs listed below are also available as lower-cost generic or store brands. The listed drugs are examples and are often multisymptom products that contain several active ingredients.)

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Are Antibiotics Used To Treat Colds

Common colds dont have an official treatment plan or remedy. Generally, you have to let them run their course and ease symptoms as they arise. In fact, taking antibiotics in an attempt to remedy a cold can cause additional harm and side effects without getting rid of the cold.

Because of the risk that taking antibiotics would have on your body when trying to use them to treat a cold, theyre not generally prescribed by a doctor.

Choose The Right Medication For The Symptom

Fever reducers

  • Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen treat fevers. A fever is simply a sign of the bodys defense mechanism in action.
  • Do not give aspirin to infants and/or toddlers.

Pain relievers for headache, sore throat or muscle pain

  • Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen all treat pain, as well as fever.
  • Acetaminophen works well for headaches, and doesnt cause stomach discomfort like ibuprofen or aspirin can.
  • Ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin work best for sore throats or muscle pain.

Cough suppressants

  • Dextromethorphan is the main ingredient in cough suppressants. It works by decreasing the feeling that you need to cough. Be careful as it can cause slight drowsiness, so its best to take it before bedtime.

Avoid these ingredients when treating the flu

Flu is a lung virus. If you have a stuffy, runny nose and a sinus headache, its more likely a cold or allergy.

You probably wont need products with:

  • such as phenylephrine, oxymetazoline, or pseudoephedrine
  • Antihistamines , such as diphenhydramine, fexofenadine, loratadine, cetirizine or chlorpheniramine
  • Expectorants, cough syrups that work by thinning and loosening the mucus in your airway Guaifenesin is the most common expectorant.

Always read the labels, directions provided and consult your physician before taking any medication.

Also Check: Flu Shot Appointment At Cvs

Best Cold Medicine For Runny Nose

A runny nose is how the body reacts to the inflammation and irritation that a cold virus is causing in the nasal passages.

If you take a decongestant for a runny nose, your symptoms may get better if you have congestion. But, a decongestant may cause undesirable effects as well, such as raising your blood pressure or making your nose and throat feel too dry.

Thats why diphenhydramine might be better for drying up a runny nose if you do not feel too congested. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, which means it reduces your bodys natural reaction to irritants and pathogens, which may help if your runny nose is because your body is releasing histamines. Benadryl also might make you drowsy, which is why its best to take this medication at bedtime.

Ways To Treat Flu Symptoms And Feel Better

Best Over the Counter Flu Remedy 2020

If youâre searching the web for flu treatment, you probably arenât feeling too well right about now. Hereâs the bad news: thereâs no cure for it and it usually lasts for one to two weeks. And just because you have the flu doesnât mean you wonât get it again, since there are many different strains of the flu virus. The good news? Just because there is no cure does not mean there is no way to feel better when you have the flu. There are several over-the-counter medicines available to you to help you combat the symptoms you feel while you are sick with the flu. And some medicines treat multiple symptoms in a single product.

Hereâs 10 ways to treat flu symptoms at home so you can get relief while your body fights the virus.

When you first come down with the flu, rest is what will help give your body the energy it needs to fight the flu virus and flu symptoms, which is why rest is one of the go-to recommendations for people suffering from the flu.1

Stay at home and rest, especially during the first 24 hours after becoming ill.

Consuming enough fluids is another regularly recommended practice for people who have the flu.1 Fever, a common flu symptom, is associated with dehydration, so it is important to get adequate amounts of water or other fluids to ensure that you stay hydrated while you have the flu.2

  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Ask your doctor about anti-viral medicines.
  • Consult your doctor.
  • Lower your body temperature.
  • Take NyQuil before you go to bed.
  • Recommended Reading: When Does Flu Season Start In Colorado

    Is Tamiflu Worth Taking

    It can be. Most people do not need medication if they get the flu however, if you are in a high-risk group, are very sick, or are worried about your illness, antiviral medications are worth taking to make the illness milder and shorter and to reduce the risk of complications. And its important to remember that Tamiflu works best if you start taking it within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, which is why seeking early medical attention is so important, Dr. Wilkes says.

    RELATED: Is Tamiflu safe?

    Rationale Of Pharmacist Recommendations For Anti

    The reasons behind advising specific medication by pharmacists in order to treat common cold are always unspecified. In our study, in 240/502 patient encounters the pharmacists declared that their approach to patient treatment was based solely on patients complaints, history and analysis of the patients needs. Moreover, in 108/502 patient encounters the pharmacists declared that the price of the drug was a major factor. In addition, in 80/502 cases the pharmacists advised a common cold medication basing on their belief in the efficacy of the drug in current clinical situation. In 75/502 patient encounters the pharmacists declared that a major reason for advising a specific medication was a marketing approach from inside the pharmacy or outside, for financial reward or other benefits paid by pharmaceutical industry or its representatives .

    Fig. 3

    The rationale of the pharmacists decisions. Reasons for advising specific medications by the pharmacists in order to treat common cold based on OTC medication recommendations in 502 patient encounters. The results are presented as raw numbers of patient encounters with anti-common cold medication recommendations

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