Having a cold can be very troublesome. It is not a serious condition, but we hate getting one because it usually means we could experience symptoms like runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, cough, fever and body aches.
Scientists have not found a cure for colds but there are a lot of medicines in pharmacies and supermarkets to relieve its symptoms. Finding the best cold medicine could be confusing because there seems to be a lot of choices available.
Experts recommend that when choosing a cold medicine one must read the label, find one that is suited to your needs, and follow instructions as directed. Here is some information to help you choose the best medicine that will suit your needs.
Runny noses are irritating and embarrassing. This condition may be accompanied by constant sneezing, watery eyes and nasal congestion. The best cold medicine for a runny nose is an antihistamine, which prevents the release of histamine in the body. Antihistamines dry out a leaky or drippy nose, but one must be careful in using these because they can cause drowsiness, which may be dangerous for someone who needs to drive or operate heavy machinery. Alcohol intake must be avoided to prevent accidents. Examples of antihistamines include diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton).
Pain relief drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin IB, and Advil) help lower fevers. Colds may be accompanied by low-grade fever, which is the body's natural response to invading viruses and bacteria. Some experts recommend letting a fever subside on its own, but if the fever makes you uncomfortable, you may take some medicine to relieve the symptom. However, you must call your doctor if your temperature is 103°F or higher, or if the fever lasts for more than three days. Seek medical help if new symptoms appear.
Many brands of cold medicines are a combination of different drugs. They may combine an antihistamine, a decongestant, a cough suppressant, a cough expectorant, and a painkiller in just one pill. Experts advise that you should be careful when choosing these pills because you may experience unnecessary side effects. When opting for a drug for multiple symptoms, choose the cold medicine, which matches your symptoms properly.
Some people want to avoid drugs and choose complementary treatments for colds. These alternatives include zinc, vitamin C, and echinacea supplements. However, evidence about their effectiveness is lacking. It is best to check with a doctor to make sure that these are safe and effective and will not interact with other medicines you are taking.
Traditional remedies for common cold symptoms include:
There is no permanent cure for colds, because there is no drug that can kill the cold-causing viruses once and for all. However, the best cold medicine is one that can relieve your symptoms without causing significant side effects.