What medicines do you take when you have a cold/flu?

Hey everyone!

I was wondering what over the counter medication you all use for a cold/flu? I have a runny nose, scratchy throat and a very bad cough!

I tried calling my doctor and they said I can only take medicines that don't contain Sudafed. 

my condition is 3rd degree heart block and I just got my PM 30 days ago.

Any help would be appreciated, thank you!!


Medicines for coughs, colds, flu?

by Gemita - 2021-07-19 05:12:42

I usually prefer immune system boosters like eating a healthy diet, good hydration, lots of rest, fresh air, gentle exercise, for a viral infection like the common cold.

Firstly do you have symptoms of Covid 19 I wonder?  If you do, I would follow any local guidelines where you live on testing/isolation.

Paracetamol (UK), Acetaminophen (US), is perhaps the only med that I would use if I had an uncomfortably high temperature during the course of a flu like illness or a heavy cold and even this med is not something that I would want to take for too long.  I believe there is evidence that a fever is beneficial and helps our bodies fight a viral infection like a cold, so why suppress it?  If a high temperature is due to a bacterial infection, rather than viral one, that is a different matter and may need treating quickly with an antibiotic, so if you have clear signs of a bacterial infection (say coughing up green looking sputum) or your symptoms of a cold do not start to improve after several days of rest, good nutrition, good hydration, I would seek advice from your doctor.

Probably not what you want to hear but I have found that many cold and flu remedies just prolong the agony of a cold, suppressing it and not allowing it to come out.  This usually results in a longer recovery time (at least in my experience).  Instead I try to help myself by supporting my immune system to fight the viral infection by getting lots of vitamins and minerals in my daily food, drinking adequate amounts of water to stay well hydrated, getting lots of rest, fresh air and gentle daily exercise.

Steam inhalation with a towel draped over your head can be an effective way to help moisten nasal and respiratory congestion when you have a cold or the flu, but it won't cure your infection. Your body's immune system will still do the bulk of the work to get rid of the virus causing your symptoms.

Try warm drinks (lemon and honey) to help prevent a dry troublesome cough and help shift mucus.  I usually make healthy soups full of vegetables, even in summer and some people say chicken broth helps fight a cold.  Take cool showers or baths, use cold compresses to help stay comfortable if you have a temperature.

Of course it goes without saying that if you notice worsening symptoms or your heart condition deteriorates during the common cold, you need to speak to your doctors for advice.  For instance I always notice an increase in my arrhythmias during either a viral or bacterial infection and your doctors may want to treat any symptoms like increased breathlessness.

You may not feel like eating but when you do, eat quality foods to help support your immune system rather than work against it.  If you do feel like eating, a steamy bowl of chicken soup may be just what the doctor ordered. In a famous study some decades ago, researchers showed that chicken soup actually does have medicinal properties. It slows the movement of infection-fighting white blood cells, and that action is thought to help alleviate upper respiratory symptoms.  See link


See also link on treating fever


exactly what your doctor said

by Tracey_E - 2021-07-19 10:10:53

The sudafed that is on the shelves in the stores is fine, phenylephrine. The one that actually works, the one with pseudoephedrine, is otc but behind the counter and we shouldn't really take that one. I wasn't told hard no, just that it's not a good idea, so if I'm really miserable with a cold I'll buy the 4-6 hour one rather than the 12 hour and use it sparingly.  

Antihistimines, expectorants, nasal sprays and cough medicines are fine.

I usually go for the homeopathic remedies first- zicam at the first sign, hot tea with lemon, chicken soup, steamy shower. 

I get raw honey and add slices of fresh lemon and ginger and keep a jar in the fridge in the winter months. I put it in tea when I feel like I might be coming down with something and eat it by the spoonful for cough and sore throat.

Cold medicine

by Julros - 2021-07-19 20:24:56

I find over the counter cold and flu medicines have little effect and usually make me feel worse.  If a cough goes more than 10 days I presume I have bronchitis and go to my health care provider. 

A nice hot toddy helps me sleep: bourbon, honey, lemon and hot water. 

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