Munson Health
 
Cold Medications

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by Kassel K
Colds are caused by viruses; in fact, there are over 200 different viruses that cause colds. There are no medications to cure colds. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, not viruses. However, there are a variety of products that may reduce cold symptoms. Many of these can be bought without a prescription. The main types of over-the-counter (OTC) cold medications are:
These medications may help reduce your symptoms. However, see your doctor if you have any of the following:
IMAGE People with moderate to severe pulmonary or cardiac disease, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, angina, and hypertension, should consult with their doctor early in the course of their symptoms and before taking any medication. Children should also be seen earlier in the course of their illness, especially if they are very young.

Analgesics

Possible Side Effects

Possible side effects of analgesics include:
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps, pain, or discomfort
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Easy bruising
  • Rash
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Family Physicians
http://www.familydoctor.org

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
http://www3.niaid.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

The College of Family Physicians of Canada
http://www.cfpc.ca

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
http://www.cihi.ca

 

References


Acetaminophen. EBSCO DynaMeds website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 4, 2013. Accessed December 24, 2013.


Colds and the flu. American Academy of Family Physicians. Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/colds-and-the-flu.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed December 24, 2013.


Dextromethorphan. EBSCO DynaMeds website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 18, 2013. Accessed December 24, 2013.


Pseudoephedrine. EBSCO DynaMeds website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 18, 2013. Accessed December 24, 2013.


1/2/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Thompson M, Vodicka TA, et al. Duration of symptoms of respiratory tract infections in children: systematic review. BMJ. 2013 Dec 11;347:f7027.

 

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