Having a cold is a frustrating thing to deal with, no matter the season. Sometimes you can manage the symptoms without taking any medicine, but it may get to a point where you need to use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to get some relief.
Below you can learn about types of available over-the-counter cold medicines, when to use each type, and when you should see a provider to get more treatment.
Symptoms of the common cold are usually a stuffed or runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and a headache. If you have these symptoms along with a fever, body aches or chills, you should test for the flu or COVID-19. Since colds are caused by viruses, medications can’t cure them.
OTC cold medicines are designed to help relieve the symptoms. Different ingredients in a cold medicine will treat specific symptoms of a cold.
Some of the types of medicines and the symptoms they relieve include:
Always read the labels on the medication you are taking. There is information about how certain medications interact with one another, as well as age limitations for children. Failing to pay attention to these labels could result in serious health problems.
Taking supplements such as Vitamin C, Echinacea, or zinc to treat cold symptoms is not harmful, but it is important to note that they are not clinically proven to provide relief in the same way as OTC medicines.
There are several home remedies that can be used to relieve symptoms of a cold. If you prefer to avoid medicine or want to complement it with natural remedies, consider these options:
While most colds go away on their own with rest, there are times when you should consult a healthcare provider – especially if any of the following starts to happen:
People want to know how to get over a cold fast, but most of the time, the only answer is to give your body the rest it needs to get healthy again.
Our providers are available 7 days a week to diagnose and treat common illnesses from the comfort of your home, or wherever you are. The average wait time is about 10 minutes, and there is no need to be a current patient or have a MyCare account.Get Started Now
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