Colds

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Original poster
Feb 22, 2003
8,414
7,287
New Hampshire, USA
After about three years without catching a cold, I picked up one after Christmas and I forgot how utterly miserable they are :(.

In the time since I got my last cold, they must have come up with a better way of treating it so could you post what medication you recommend for treating a cold.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,773
34,308
The Far Horizon
After about three years without catching a cold, I picked up one after Christmas and I forgot how utterly miserable they are :(.

In the time since I got my last cold, they must have come up with a better way of treating it so could you post what medication you recommend for treating a cold.
Lots of hydration, rest, hydration, rest, hot drinks, rest, hydration.....
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,941
14,569
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
In the time since I got my last cold, they must have come up with a better way of treating it so could you post what medication you recommend for treating a cold.
Depends. I've had allergies since I was a kid so colds have never been very far. Also, my kids have always brought home new ailments they caught at school to share with the rest of the family.

Generally (cough, runny nose, fever, aches and pains)…


Just a cough (works by timed release)…


Flulike symptoms…


Just a runny nose…


Early prevention…


If I have phlem and need to cough all that crap up…


Last but not least, if I feel Bronchitis or Sinusitis coming on…
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,882
1,429
Georgia
For cold and/or flu
- Sudafed 12 Hour (Pseudoephedrine): nasal congestion
- Saline Nasal spray: Provides quick temporary nasal congestion relief, Helps loosen mucus, can be used as much as your want, hydrates your sinuses, the saline also helps with upper throat scratchiness you get from breathing through your mouth
- Afrin Nasal Spray (oxymetazoline): Greatly reduces nasal congestion, don't over use as it can make things worse if you do, don't use it for extended periods as it is habit forming, use the saline spray in between doses or if the Afrin over dries your sinuses. I only use this for the worst few days then rely of saline sprays.
- Throat spray (Generic Phenol, name brand Chloraseptic): Provides some numbing
- Ibuprofen: Fever reduction, ache and pain reduction
- Mucinex (Guaifenesin): Expectorant

I try to avoid anything which is multi-symptom relief. As they contain multiple medications and may have interactions with something else I am taking. As these are the most effective over the counter medications I've found for me in each category. I prefer to select my own multi-symptom relief arsenal.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,295
25,073
Behind the Lens, UK
If I get a cold I always get a secondary ailment of ulcers. I can have up to 50 in my mouth and somewhere more painful!
It’s called Behcets.

I hate it when people spread their cold germs around the office.

In my most severe bouts all I can eat is jelly (jello to you guys).
When you are full of cold the last thing you want to eat is cold jelly!
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,558
10,628
I have seen that before, too. Though it was watered down warm fruit juice mixed with a little bit of unflavored gelatin and then consumed in sips to coat the throat.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,773
34,308
The Far Horizon
Ginger Tea
Cut up some Ginger and boil for a while
you can also try breathing in the steam once water is boiling
drain liquid into a cup - you might try adding one or two pieces of ginger as well
add lemon juice and honey.
Cannot recommend ginger tea highly enough.

You can eat the ginger when its spent, too. It's still fairly flavorful and spicy. Also, if the weather is nice out, go sit outside and read a book. Under the sun.
Agreed.

I do that, too (eat the ginger when it has done the needful in a cup of tea).
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
18,856
19,914
The Misty Mountains
After about three years without catching a cold, I picked up one after Christmas and I forgot how utterly miserable they are :(.

In the time since I got my last cold, they must have come up with a better way of treating it so could you post what medication you recommend for treating a cold.
Try Zircam nose swabs. I was surprised that for a homeopathic medication how effective it has been, allowing me to avoid the heavy duty nose spray that makes me feel like I’ve doused my sinus cavity in harsh chemicals.

14C729DD-01EA-4543-9026-F9E435ABE628.png
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
872
41,418
Criminal Mexi Midget
After about three years without catching a cold, I picked up one after Christmas and I forgot how utterly miserable they are :(.

In the time since I got my last cold, they must have come up with a better way of treating it so could you post what medication you recommend for treating a cold.
Nyquil. no measure cup, just chug it.
 
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RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
1,448
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Zinc tablets help lessen the time it's around. I like Advil Cold and Sinus (with pseudo-ephedrine) to treat the usual symptoms.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
18,856
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The Misty Mountains
Nyquil. no measure cup, just chug it.
Better yet, see if you can chug the whole bottle....:rolleyes:
[doublepost=1546297459][/doublepost]
Zinc tablets help lessen the time it's around. I like Advil Cold and Sinus (with pseudo-ephedrine) to treat the usual symptoms.
I’m no expert on this, but I remember reading that zinc maybe not all that good for you. When I was reading up on Zicam, they pulled it from the market when the FDA put our a warning about zinc, and they had it in their product’s formula. Since then it has been released with a new formula, absent the zinc.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
872
41,418
Criminal Mexi Midget
Better yet, see if you can chug the whole bottle....:rolleyes:
[doublepost=1546297459][/doublepost]
I’m no expert on this, but I remember reading that zinc maybe not all that good for you. When I was reading up on Zicam, they pulled it from the market when the FDA put our a warning about zinc, and they had it in their product’s formula. Since then it has been released with a new formula, absent the zinc.
Cause it’s not cheap?:p
 

RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
1,448
5,213
Better yet, see if you can chug the whole bottle....:rolleyes:
[doublepost=1546297459][/doublepost]
I’m no expert on this, but I remember reading that zinc maybe not all that good for you. When I was reading up on Zicam, they pulled it from the market when the FDA put our a warning about zinc, and they had it in their product’s formula. Since then it has been released with a new formula, absent the zinc.
Zicam was not recalled due to the use of zinc in its formulation and the FDA never issued a warning about zinc (an essential nutrient). It was recalled because there were numerous reports of it causing people to lose their sense of smell. The FDA never linked zinc gluconate directly to the issue, though, (even though it may cause burns to delicate tissues). That was unresolved in any scientific manner, only legal, in the resulting lawsuits for loss of smell due to zicam nasal gels. This is what happens when people use homeopathic "remedies". That said, I wouldn't put anything up my nose short of Dristan (and they don't even make that wonder drug anymore). Zinc lozenges and tablets have been shown to shorten the length of colds in scientific studies and they do not cause any issues.

"For the common cold, zinc lozenges -- 10 mg to 15 mg daily -- are supposed to be started within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms. Then, take the zinc lozenges every two to three hours until the symptoms go away. There are zinc supplements in pill and liquid form."

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/supplement-guide-zinc#1
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,558
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Orally consumed zinc offers up similar problems along with loss of taste. Zinc studies usually focus on the onset of a cold, not during the cold. After doing saline rinses for about a week I've become a convert. Really gets the gunk out and eliminates post nasal drip and the associated cough.

There's some very vague research in silver drops taken orally during the onset of a cold or sore throat.

Most interesting is there are large hospitals in the US reinstalling railings and door handles in high traffic areas made of copper over traditional stainless steel. Silver works, too, but needs moisture to work properly. I think the high cost of copper and how quickly it deteriorates without a protective coating which voids its benefits works against the idea of utilizing it more.
That said, I wouldn't put anything up my nose short of Dristan (and they don't even make that wonder drug anymore).
Yes, they do. Vicks Sinex and Afrin are two name brands that share the exact same drug and strength that was in Dristan. Even Zicam offers a severe congestion product with the active ingredient being what was in Dristan and what's available in the other brands. Even retailers carry generic in-house brands of the drug.

My recommendation would be to pick up the Afrin. It's the cheapest out of all of them unless you find an in-house generic for slightly cheaper. GoodSense Pharmacy (a generics maker) sells it. It's at least $.30 cheaper than Afrin. Afrin's base version runs a little over $3.85 at most stores, with it running as high as $6 at some places. Sinex runs about $14 for a two pack, so it's on the more expensive side.

And as I pointed out to @Huntn, avoid buying products with phenylephrine. It is beyond useless when taken orally. If you need the good stuff, go talk to the pharmacist and hand them your ID/license and ask to purchase a box of name brand or generic Sudafed, which uses psuedoephedrine. This is what Sudafed used to be before meth heads realized you could use it to make meth easier.

How often and how much you can purchase it depends on what your state decided when moving it to the controlled substances list.


The majority of drug combinations are the same. Theraflu, NeoCitran, DayQuil, NyQuil, et al. are virtually all the same in different flavors or forms. Buying the drugs separately is cheaper in the long run.

If you need Tylenol, buy the name brand or generic acetaminophen. If you need to clear your congestion, opt for Afrin et al. or a generic or saline rinse (NeilMed and distilled water) if it's not too bad. If you need sleep, you can opt to purchase generic doxylamine succinate, which is the compound in NyQuil, and you can get something like 120 tablets for $18 at CVS or 210 of them for $8 or $10 at Sam's or Costco. If you need Benadryl, just opt for the generics available (diphenhydramine HCL); the best deal I've seen is at Sam's or Costco, the latter offers 600 tablets for just over $4 - it has a 14 or 16 month expiry date, but it doesn't matter at that price point.

Some drug combos utilize chloramine maleate which is rather hard to find on its own, but Walgreens and CVS do carry a generic 4-hour allergy tablet bottle of the stuff. It's usually 100-120 tablets for around $8.


NyQuil Cough is simply dextromethorphan and doxylamine succinate. DXM is beyond useless in adults and any child old enough to not believe in Santa anymore. If you've got a phlegm cough, opt for Mucinex or generic 4 hour tablets. Price wise, you'll have to do some research but the best deals are again at Sam's or Costco which offer nearly 50 tablets for the cost of a 14 tablet box at most retailers.

These two stores also offer the generic of the active ingredient in Mucinex, but you need to pop a tablet ever 4 hours versus Mucinex's time release tablet.



If you're still miserable as I was a week ago, speak with your doctor or get a referral to an ENT. I was recommended sinus rinsing which I thought was hippy garbage that hippies only did. I found out that I was very wrong and that it does help. I was recommended NeilMed because it's cheap and easier to work with. It's cheap everywhere though it's cheaper at Costco or Sam's.

I spend under $14 for a bottle and 250 packets of solution. A bottle replacement (recommended every 3 months if used) is about $7.

I thought my sinuses were clean because I could breathe easily, but without going into detail the end result was incredibly vile. After 2-3 days of use my cough practically disappeared and today it's gone. My voice is still hoarse, probably from the immense snoring the last few nights, but I'm feeling a hell of a lot better. I'll probably keep using this stuff for a few more weeks just because it's cold and flu season. And I will definitely buy a new bottle and use it during the spring and summer on days where my allergies are too much just so I can lessen the reliance on Zyrtec or similar.


If you don't feel comfortable using a sinus rinse, you can try eating spicy foods. A nice big bowl of quality pho is always pleasant this time of year with lots of chili oil and fresh chilis. I think @Scepticalscribe would agree with me on that and I'm sure others. And if you do the sinus rinse, I implore you to purchase a large jug or two of distilled or sterile water (it'll be labeled either one) instead of boiling and cooling tap water. Heat up about two ounces in a microwave in a clean glass cup and pour off the rest from the jug/bottle and shake with your solution packet. You don't want it too cool or too warm.



Edit: If you have heart or BP problems and rely on special brands like Corocidin, you can look at the actives and attempt to find them individually instead or purchasing a combo that costs quite a bit compared to generics or individual name brands. Speak with the pharmacist in the store. Their goal is to help you achieve relief, not push you on a name brand combo they don't get anything from.

While the FDA is incredibly strict on drugs, they're very lax on drug relabeling. Benadryl is a name brand and carries a premium. Generic Benadryl is cheaper and costs considerable less. Drugs like Vicks ZzzQuil are an offense to the drug market because you're paying a higher premium than Benadryl to consume what is effectively diphenhydramine HCL in liquid or capsule/tablet/gel form. Sominex was one of the first companies guilty of doing this nearly two decades ago. The FDA has yet to step in and doesn't advise consumers to research their choices.


The same goes for Tylenol (acetaminophen or paracetamol overseas). GoodSense offers a large bottle for half the price. Costco or Sam's generics of the same will be cheaper and offer more. Advil is the same. Advil PM is just ibuprofen and generic Benadryl, albeit in a slightly different form so uptake is faster. Though with either drug, opt for the lowest dose you need. There's a set limit on how much you take every 24 hours, but if you can get by with a 325 mg dose over a 500 mg dose, why not?

325 mg of Tylenol has always been enough for me to reduce a fever or reduce the pain of a partially torn ligament into almost nothing for up to 8 hours.
[doublepost=1546309463][/doublepost]And if you would rather avoid drugs, like @Gutwrench pointed out, alcohol works. Just make sure to get enough non-alcoholic liquid in to prevent any further dehydration. Though when sick and thus lacking the ability to taste, I'd personally opt for the cheapest in price but of decent quality alcohol you can get your hands on. I wouldn't opt for an 18 year scotch when I'm sick, but something cheap and rank like JW Red is fine. 2-3 fingers, put a soft wool hat on and sleep it off. Rinse and repeat with some warm tea or plain water here and there.
 
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