Treating Colds in Adults

Monday, September 24, 2012

The common cold is one of the most frequent illnesses in the United States. Although most colds are mild and resolve within a short time period, colds cost billions of dollars per year, mostly due to lost time at school and work. Dr. Edward Hill discusses treatment of colds in adults in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Most colds dont cause serious illness and will get better over time. Cold symptoms in adults can be treated with some over-the-counter medicines.

Choosing an over-the-counter medicine that contains an antihistamine and a decongestant may help you cough less and breathe better through your nose. Cough medicines such as dextromethorphan and guaifenesin may help some people.

If you have a headache or body aches, pain medicines such as ibuprofen can help. The pain medicine naproxen also may be used for cough.

Herbal products, such as Echinacea purpurea, Pelargonium sidoides extract and Andrographis paniculata may reduce cold symptoms.

Zinc taken in the first 24 hours of cold symptoms may reduce how many days you have a cold, and you may also get fewer symptoms. You can take one lozenge every two hours while awake for as long as you have cold symptoms. But, they may give you a bad taste in your mouth or upset your stomach. Zinc nose sprays should not be used.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.