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Common Cold Treatments

Treating a Cold

Antibiotics will not help get rid of a cold and they can make things worse.

Treating a Cold

Antibiotics will not help get rid of a cold and they can make things worse. While there are new anti-viral drugs that can clear up a runny nose a day sooner than if the cold ran its course and that might ease some symptoms, it is not yet determined whether these drugs' benefits outweigh their risks. So, for now, the best way to control or at least reduce the discomfort is by taking the correct over-the-counter medications based on your symptoms. It's vital that you follow directions faithfully and are especially vigilant when a child has a cold since many products are not suitable for children. You can also try to ease symptoms with some basic health strategies such as drinking plenty of fluids and getting proper rest. Over-the-counter cold medications help reduce the severity of symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, and coughing. Pain relievers help ease sore throats, headaches, and muscle aches.

Common Cold Drugs

They won't shorten the life of your cold. However, the most effective way to manage common cold symptoms is by taking over-the-counter cold medications. Common cold drugs fall into several categories: nasal decongestants, cough suppressants, expectorants, antihistamines, and pain relievers. There are several medications available that are a combination of these drugs. 

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Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed : Sue Russell

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
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