The Best Cold Medicine
- Advil. Best for Fever, Aches, and Sore Throat.
- Tylenol. Runner-Up for Fever, Aches, and Sore Throat.
- Sudafed. Best for Congestion.
- Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion. Best for Runny Noses and Sneezing.
- Allegra 12HR. Runner-Up for Runny Noses and Sneezing.
- Mucinex DM. Best for Cough.
Hereof, what is best OTC cold medicine?
Click on the symptoms below, and we'll find the medicines that work best for you.
- Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine)
- Advil Congestion Relief (Ibuprofen / Phenylephrine)
- Advil Pm (Diphenhydramine / Ibuprofen)
- Afrin (oxymetazoline)
- Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold (Aspirin / Chlorpheniramine / Phenylephrine)
A cold remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow. Add moisture to the air. A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion.
Consider the following eight common home remedies: A common home remedy is to gargle with warm saltwater or honey and lemon juice. 1. Gargling. This old-school remedy can ease a sore throat, which is often one of the first symptoms of a cold.
Cough and cold meds also often contain an expectorant called guaifenesin. “Expectorant” is a fancy way of saying “helps thin mucus so you can cough it up.” It's a helpful ingredient, to be sure — especially if congestion is leading to a lot of sinus pain. Mucinex contains only guaifenesin as the active ingredient.
You have two main choices in the cold-and-flu aisle:
- Cough suppressants , like dextromethorphan, can provide relief for a short time. They work on the part of your brain that controls the process.
- Expectorants, like guaifenesin, can break up congestion in your chest by thinning the mucus in your airways.
7 Sleep Tips for a Cold or the Flu
- Prop yourself up. Sinus pressure gets better when your head is higher than your body, so let gravity work for you.
- Use a vaporizer or humidifier.
- Drink or eat something hot.
- Try cold and flu medicines.
- Don't drink alcohol.
- Sleep alone.
- Can't sleep?
If so, Single Symptom Cold and Flu Medications is for you.
- Aleve Sinus and Headache. Mario Tama/Getty Images.
- Tylenol Cold Multi Symptom Nighttime. Unlike NyQuil, Tylenol Cold Multi Symptom Nighttime does contain a nasal decongestant (phenylephrine).
- Aleve Cold and Sinus.
- Vicks DayQuil Cold and Flu.
- Vicks NyQuil.
These are the 15 best foods to eat when sick.
- Chicken Soup. Chicken soup has been recommended as a remedy for the common cold for hundreds of years — and for good reason (1).
- Broths. Similar to chicken soup, broths are excellent sources of hydration while you're sick.
- Coconut Water.
- Hot Tea.
- Spicy Foods.
Treating your symptoms will not make your cold go away, but will help you feel better. Antibiotics are almost never needed to treat a common cold. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) help lower fever and relieve muscle aches.
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is also found in many cold medications. It's a good choice if you have a fever or aches and pains. “Tylenol can often be less upsetting to the stomach than NSAIDs,” Dr. Hueston says. You can also take acetaminophen safely with a decongestant or cough medication.
You'll want a decongestant, like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. A decongestant will help reduce nasal tissue swelling. If you're dealing with allergies or a runny nose, you should look for an antihistamine, like diphenhydramine for nighttime use or non-drowsy fexofenadine.
There are lots of different cold and cough medicines, and they do different things.
- Nasal decongestants - unclog a stuffy nose.
- Cough suppressants - quiet a cough.
- Expectorants - loosen mucus so you can cough it up.
- Antihistamines - stop runny noses and sneezing.
Cold symptoms usually start 2 or 3 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. People with colds are most contagious for the first 3 or 4 days after the symptoms begin and can be contagious for up to 3 weeks. Although some colds can linger for as long as 2 weeks, most clear up within a week.
In other words, you'll get rid of your runny nose faster. Using a gentle saline nasal spray, or drops three to four times a day can help stop a runny nose and make it easier to breathe. The saline solution will help soothe the mucous membranes inside the nose. Non-prescription medications can help ease your symptoms.
Decongestants . These medicines help reduce the swelling in your nasal passages and ease the stuffiness and sinus pressure. They come as nasal sprays, like naphazoline (Privine), oxymetazoline (Afrin, Dristan, Nostrilla, Vicks Sinus Nasal Spray), or phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine, Sinex, Rhinall).
Method 1 Quick Fixes for Kids and Adults
- Take it easy when blowing your nose.
- Take an over-the-counter decongestant or antihistamine.
- Use a saline nasal spray.
- Use steam to ease congestion.
- Stay hydrated.
- Put a warm compress over your nose.
- Use a vapor rub.
- Rest in an upright position.
Fortunately, there are many treatments for a stuffy nose, ranging from home remedies to medications.
- Hit the shower. Taking a hot shower can help decrease nasal congestion.
- Try a saline spray.
- Flush out the sinuses.
- Apply a warm compress.
- Try eucalyptus oil.
- Take allergy medicine.
- Use a decongestant.
- Use a humidifier.
The Best Cold and Flu Meds for You
- 1 of 5 Getty Images. Beat the bug.
- Chest congestion. An expectorant like guaifenesin (Mucinex)
- Aches, headache, and/or fever. A pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Cough. A cough suppressant like dextromethorphan (Robitussin Cough + Chest Congestion DM)
- Sneezing or runny nose.
Here are some surefire ways to catch a cold:
- Become a sneeze guard. Cold viruses get spread around by mucus and saliva flung out of the body by sneezes and coughs.
- Touch everything and never wash your hands.
- Stick your nose out.
- Walk barefoot in the cold.
- Hang out in the city.
- Stress out.
- Stop aging.
- Be human.
Try these five tips to manage your cough at home:
- Stay Hydrated. An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes postnasal drip.
- Try Lozenges and Hot Drinks. Try a menthol cough drop, Yoder suggests.
- Take Steamy Showers, and Use a Humidifier.
- Remove Irritants From the Air.
- Take Medications to Treat Coughs.
According to one study, it can also relieve coughs more effectively than over-the-counter medicines that contain dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant. You can create your own remedy at home by mixing up to 2 teaspoons of honey with herbal tea or warm water and lemon.