Tuesday, September 26, 2023

What’s The Best Cold And Flu Medicine

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If Your Symptoms Keep You Up At Night

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Tylenol PM Extra Strength Pain Reliever & Sleep Aid
Tylenol PM Extra Strength Pain Reliever & Sleep Aid

Youve probably noticed that a lot of cold and flu meds have nighttime or PM versions in the drugstore aisle. These can help you sleep better if your symptoms are preventing you from getting quality sleep, but note that they may make you feel overly groggy in the morning. As with all of the above remedies, dont take more than the recommended dosage.

Ultimately, the common cold can be a nuisance every year, but chances are you can find something to alleviate your symptoms. Always talk to your doctor if you suspect you might be dealing with something more serious, and dont forget to get your flu shot.

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.

Best Cold Medicine For Sore Throat And Coughing

If your coughing is making your throat sore, look for a medication that contains dextromethorphan. Dextromethorphan helps control your brains signal to your body that you need to cough. This can decrease your coughing symptoms enough to promote healing of a sore throat, but it doesnt treat the cause of your coughing.

Some medications that contain dextromethorphan also contain an ingredient called guaifenesin. This ingredient is an expectorant, which thins out mucus and helps your cough to be productive, meaning that youre coughing out mucus that could be aggravating your throat and chest.

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When To See Your Doctor

If rest, hydration and over-the-counter medications dont bring you good relief, you may need a doctor. Dr. Entz recommends seeking medical care if you experience:

  • Dizziness or fatigue
  • Fever that does not go away after taking a pain reliever and lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Ongoing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Symptoms that go away for 2 to 3 days, then return and worsen

If youre experiencing cold and flu symptoms or were around someone with these symptoms, Dr. Entz recommends getting a COVID-19 test. Some of the newer variants of COVID-19 have similar symptoms to colds and flu, she says. Once you know the source of your infection, you can talk with your doctor regarding the best treatment, including which cold medicines may offer relief.

To find a doctor at Henry Ford, visit henryford.com or call .

Dr. Abigail Entz is an internal medicine physician who sees patients at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Cold Medications That Are Okay To Take During Pregnancy

12 Best Cold And Flu Medicine For Kids On Amazon

The following drugs have been studied or used relatively often in pregnant women and are generally considered safe to use when youre expecting:

  • Acetaminophinto relieve pain and reduce fevers. Its best to take the minimum effective dose for only as long as you need it, and to never exceed the recommended maximum dosage per day.
  • Antihistaminesto relieve nasal congestion. Antihistamines that are considered safe for pregnant women include:
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Dexchlorpheniramine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • The cough suppressant dextromethorphan is often found in over-the-counter cold medicines like Robitussin and is considered safe for pregnant women.
  • Cough drops with benzocaine or menthol are usually approved for use during pregnancy. Benzocaine doesnt get into the bloodstream, so its very unlikely to pose a risk to a developing baby. Menthol is unlikely to cause problems during pregnancy, as long as its used as recommended.
  • are usually considered safe for use over a short period of time. Nasal strips, saline nasal sprays, and Neti pots are the safest options to use during pregnancy, as they dont contain any medications.
  • with camphor oil is generally considered safe if used on the skin as directed, though it isnt an effective decongestant. The ingredients in a chest rub might feel nice and make you feel like youre breathing easier, though.
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    How To Use Chlorpheniramine Allergy Tablet

    If you are taking the over-the-counter product, read all directions on the product package before taking this medication. If you have any questions, consult your pharmacist. If your doctor has prescribed this medication, take it as directed.

    Take the tablet, capsule, or liquid form by mouth with or without food. Follow the directions for dosing on the label, or take as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with food or milk if stomach upset occurs.

    If you are taking the extended-release capsules, swallow them whole. Do not crush or chew extended-release capsules or tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects.

    If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.

    Your dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than recommended by your doctor or the package instructions without your doctor’s approval. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

    If your condition lasts or gets worse, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

    All Medicines Aren’t The Same

    The role of cough medicine is to ease symptoms while your body heals.

    As a glance at the drugstore shelves will show you, there are many, many brands of OTC cough medicines. But there are only three basic types:

    Expectorants help thin mucus, making it easier to cough up. The ingredient guaifenesin is the only expectorant in the U.S., so look for it on the label if you need an expectorant.

    Suppressants help cut the number of times you cough. The active ingredient listed is usually dextromethorphan . Other cough suppressants include camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol.

    Combination cough products have more than one active ingredient. They have both guaifenesin and dextromethorphan. Cough medicines may also contain ingredients to help coat and soothe the throat.

    Combination products may have medicines to ease other symptoms, that may include decongestants for stuffy nose, antihistamines for allergies or a runny nose, or painkillers. Choose a medicine that matches your symptoms.

    Cough drops can also help relieve a cough and may ease a sore throat.

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

    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. 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 Are Other Ways To Treat And Prevent The Flu

    What’s your go-to cold remedy?

    Antiviral prescription medicines and an annual flu vaccine are available for treating and preventing the flu.

    Prescription anti-flu medicines include amantadine , rimantadine , zanamivir and oseltamivir . These drugs do not cure the flu, but they can make the symptoms milder and make you feel better more quickly. They are only effective when used in the first 48 hours of flu-like symptoms.

    These drugs are not needed for healthy people who get the flu. They are usually reserved for people who are very sick with the flu or those who are at risk of complications from the flu, such as people with long-term chronic medical conditions or older age.

    Flu vaccine . Although there is currently no vaccine against the common cold, there is a vaccine to prevent the flu. The vaccine is available by both shot and nasal spray. It works by exposing the immune system to the viruses. The body responds by building antibodies against the flu. The flu shot contains dead flu viruses. The nasal spray contains live, but weakened, flu viruses. The nasal spray is only approved for healthy children and adults two to 49 years old and who are not pregnant.

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    How To Avoid Spreading A Cold

    Colds are caused by viruses and easily spread to other people. You’re infectious until all your symptoms have gone. This usually takes 1 to 2 weeks.

    Colds are spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

    To reduce the risk of spreading a cold:

    • wash your hands often with warm water and soap
    • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
    • bin used tissues as quickly as possible

    What Are The Best Medicines For A Cough

    The best medicine for a cough is very much dependant on the type of cough that you have.

    There are different types of coughs, each with their own treatments that will reduce the effects.

    The different types of a cough are:

    We have much more information about the best medicines for coughs in our guide.

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    Can Having A Cold Or The Flu While Pregnant Hurt The Baby

    Tylenol Cold And Flu Medication

    Catching a cold wont affect your unborn baby, said Olga Tusheva, M.D., Inspira Medical Group OB/GYN. Theyre protected by the placenta, your immune system and their own immune system, ensuring they dont experience symptoms. However, more severe infections like the flu can be dangerous and cause complications that may affect fetal development. The flu shot can be a safe effective precaution for expecting parents. If you suspect you have the flu, talk to your doctor to learn about pregnancy-safe treatments that can help reduce symptoms and get you on the path to recovery.

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    Runny Nose Watery Eyes And Sneezing

    When you have a cold, your body makes chemicals called histamines. That leads to sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes.

    Over-the-counter antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine block this process and can relieve those symptoms. They can also make you sleepy and dry out your eyes, nose, and mouth. Antihistamines can make secretions thick, which can be a problem for people with asthma.

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    They also temporarily reduce fever and help loosen phlegm and thin bronchial secretions to make coughs more productive. Each caplet contains 325 milligrams of the pain reliever and fever reducer acetaminophen and 10 milligrams of the cough suppressant dextromethorphan HBr.

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    Check If You Have A Cold

    Cold symptoms come on gradually and can include:

    • a blocked or runny nose
    • pressure in your ears and face
    • loss of taste and smell

    The symptoms are the same in adults and children. Sometimes symptoms last longer in children.

    Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe.

    Difference between cold and flu

    Appears quickly within a few hours
    Affects mainly your nose and throat Affects more than just your nose and throat
    Makes you feel unwell, but you’re OK to carry on as normal Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal

    Check If You Have A Common Cold Or The Flu

    Are flu medications effective?

    Colds and the flu are viruses that have similar symptoms however there are some noticeable differences. A cold most commonly presents symptoms like these:

    If you have the flu, you will likely have the following symptoms:

    • A fever / high temperature
    • Dry cough and sore throat
    • Loss of appetite

    If you have a high temperature, loss or change to your sense of smell and taste, or a continuous cough, please note that it could be coronavirus. Find out more about coronavirus symptoms and what to do here.

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    Is There Medication For The Flu

    The CDC recommends prompt medical attention for people who get the flu and are at high risk of developing complications, such as adults who are 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and cancer. People taking immunosuppressive medications are also at a higher risk for flu complications.

    For people in these groups, treatment may include antiviral medications these prescription drugs are used to battle influenza viruses.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following antivirals to treat flu:

    • Tamiflu is available as a liquid or a capsule, and it can be prescribed for infants who are least 14 days old, children, and adults.
    • Relenza is available as a powder that is inhaled, and it can be prescribed for people who are 7 and older.
    • Rapivab is given intravenously, and it can be prescribed for people who are 2 and older.
    • Xofluza is available as a single-dose pill that can be prescribed for people who are 12 and older.

    Antiviral medications might shorten the duration of symptoms somewhat, but in order for them to be effective, they need to be started in the first two days of illness, says Dr. Ohl.

    The CDC stresses that these drugs are a second line of defense against the flu: A flu vaccine remains the best way to stay healthy.

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    Can I Take Cold Medicine While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

    There are certain cold medicines that are considered safe to take while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The safety of using over-the-counter cold medication while pregnant or breastfeeding depends on the specific medicines within the products, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and any other medical conditions you may have. You should only use cold medicines for the shortest time possible to help with your symptoms. Always be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter cold medicines during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

    The American Pregnancy Association recommends limiting the amount of over-the-counter cold medicines you take and trying certain home remedies to alleviate symptoms. They promote washing your hands regularly, drinking plenty of fluids, getting ample amounts of rest, eating well and only using medications to treat the symptoms you are experiencing. As a home remedy for sinus congestion, they recommend using a humidifier, keeping your head elevated on a pillow while resting and/or using adhesive nasal strips. For a sore throat, they recommend sucking on ice chips, drinking warm herbal tea or gargling warm salt water.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of A Cold During Pregnancy

    A cold usually begins with a sore or scratchy throat that lasts for a day or two, followed by the gradual appearance of other symptoms, including:

    • A runny, then later stuffy, nose
    • A dry cough, particularly near the colds end, which may continue for a week or more after other symptoms have subsided
    • Low-grade fever

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