Medicine for colds and flu - yeah or nay?

snoopy

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,274
I am on day 4 of a particularly nasty cold now fever thing. I generally don’t take anything for colds but took some dimatapp this time. I think it prolonged the symptoms so now I’m trying to skip everything and do liquids and rest only.

What is your approach? Medicate or let it ride?
 
Last edited:

clairecloutier

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,469
I asked this question of one of my doctors—i.e., how to medicate colds. Her advice was to take Afrin for the first 3 nights of the cold. That’s it.

ETA: The idea being to allow you to get several good nights' sleep, to help get rid of the cold. I have found it to be fairly effective.
 
Last edited:

Aceon6

Isolating from mean people
Messages
22,255
Depends... if the fever is 101F or higher, I reduce it with medication. Otherwise, I prefer to wait it out and use hot tea and spicy broth to make myself less irritable. When I start craving carbs and sugar, I know that the worst is over.
 

moebius

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,953
I let it ride, unless I cannot handle it, like a really bad headache. Cough medicines do not work for me. So I'll just have to cough my lungs out until it's over. Unfortunately, this happens at least once year.
 

puglover

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,176
My husband and I are big believers in ColdFX - but apparently tests show it is not really effective except when taken in the early stages of cold or flu.
 

hanca

Values her privacy
Messages
11,452
There is a saying in my country that ‘untreated cold last a week, treated cold last seven days’ (suggesting that it doesn’t really matter what you treat it with, it just needs to run its course). However, many people have various home remedies they swear that help. I am not sure whether these remedies really make a difference in the length of the cold, or whether they just temporarily make the patient feel more comfortable. But I guess, even if the benefit was only a short term to make the patient feel comfortable, it is still worth it. Why suffer more than need be? Also, the knowledge that the patient is taking something or doing something to get better may help (the placebo effect). So even if the science was saying that medication doesn’t help, if you have something you believe in, just go for it. Even if it is just tea with honey and lemon, or chicken soup, or anything very spicy to clear your nose/your sinuses.
 

SkateSand

Cat Servant
Messages
1,047
If it's so bad that I can't get a good night's rest, I will take Nyquil or Benadryl at night, nothing during the day, for at least the first few nights until I start to feel better. If I feel the symptoms coming on before I get sick, I will take Airborne in the hopes of warding it off. That usually works for me, but, of course, it could all be psychological. If a cough doesn't clear up after a few weeks (sometimes my colds turn into a bad cough), I will give up and go to one of the Urgent Care clinics as typically for me, the cough has developed into a bacterial thing in my lungs.

I also drink plenty of fluids, way more than I would normally, mostly herbal hot tea, water, yet more water, and, yes, chicken soup, lol. After all this, I haven't missed a day of work for at least ten years, maybe longer, and even if I do get sick, about once every two years or so, it's not nearly bad enough not to be able to work. My co-workers have been dropping like flies for months. I'm still okay. (crosses fingers!)

I think I have a really good immune system, probably developed from the two years I worked in the school system about 15 years ago, where I think I was sick for the entire two years. I have nothing left to catch because I already caught every possible ***** from the kiddies. :p
 

acraven

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,297
High-zinc lozenges (name brand "Cold-eeze", but there are drug-store-brand generics) work well for me by virtually eliminating the sneezing and runny-nose symptoms. No runny nose usually means I don't develop a sore throat. Instead of lasting about seven days, my colds now usually end on Day 5. The lozenges are most effective if you begin taking them at the first sign of cold symptoms.

But: Zinc lozenges don't do anything about the slight achiness and low-grade fever I sometimes have with a cold; for those I take one standard-strength Tylemol (acetaminophen/paracetamol). I use no more than three per day, because they affect my sense of taste. And they don't work for everyone. I think there may be extra uncertainty about their efficacy in children.
 

snoopy

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,274
I gave in and took some Tylenol as I was pretty miserable. It at least helped me relax a bit. I will do a dose of dimatapp before bed as the cough has kicked in. Yes sleep is priority.
 

Prancer

Demonic Chihuahua
Staff member
Messages
51,329
I gave in and took some Tylenol as I was pretty miserable. It at least helped me relax a bit. I will do a dose of dimatapp before bed as the cough has kicked in. Yes sleep is priority.

My favorite doctor always told me that taking Dimetap is as effective as spitting in the wind.

She recommended Delsym if you have to do OTC.
 

floridaice

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,710
Treat fever, rest, food and keep hydrated. If you have a lot of congestion, try nasal irrigation. I never mastered a neti pot, but this works great for me Neil Med Sinus Rinse (Also great for allergies)
 
  • Like
Reactions: KCC

mikey

...an acquired taste
Messages
5,025
As a physician, I'm glad to see that no one here has recommended antibiotics, so at least that message has gotten out... If one more person asks me for a Z-pack for a viral illness, I can't promise I won't stab them in the throat. I'm sure this won't hold up in court...
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
24,358
I rarely get colds. When I do, I usually let it run its course.

Sometimes I make a tea from fresh cut lemons, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and a bit of garlic - then add honey. I boil the ingredients, and the mix gets thicker the more you boil it. It is delicious and oh so very comforting. And, it works.
 
Last edited:

Desperado

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,009
As others have mention sleep is the most important thing, along with hydration. If I’m coughing too much to sleep, Tylenol PM (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine) works best for me. I also cut out dairy to reduce the ”phlegm” effect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KCC

Simone411

Do stand. Do stand six. Do stand six feet from me.
Messages
17,332
I usually double up on the Vitamin C. I also take Benadryl and Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus. With the weather continually changing, I've been using it all. I thought it might be allergies due to the weather changing from warm days to cold days, but it could be a cold since I've had a runny nose, etc.

I started taking Vitamin C, Benadryl and Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus about 4 days ago. I'm actually feeling a little better now.
 

Cachoo

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,323
I rarely get colds. When I do, I usually let it run its course.

Sometimes I make a tea from fresh cut lemons, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and a bit of garlic - then add honey. I boil the ingredients, and the mix gets thicker the more you boil it. It is delicious and oh so very comforting. And, it works.

I like that idea but I wanted to stop hacking over everyone at work. Also this particular cold seemed to have more than one life...felt better then suddenly felt much worse with constant coughing.
 

Lilia A

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,952
I used to take stuff to temporarily do away with (some of) the symptoms if I needed to. For instance, I got a bad cold during not one but three final exam periods in my university days. OTC meds made me more miserable. Hot water with quite a bit of lemon (not lemonade, I mean strong lemon water) with honey but no sugar helped for a few hours. Lemon temporarily dries up your sinuses, apparently. Also, and every doctor will advice against it, a nice/strong caffeine dose right before a test. I know it dehydrates you, but it was the only was I could last for three hours.

Nowadays, I wouldn't even try the caffeine trick because at some point in the last few years, caffeine started making me very jittery. And like I said, it doesn't make you better. It just overstimulates you to perform well for a few hours, like all stimulants would. Anyway, I never take medication for a cold unless I get one of those headaches that never go away, but that's just one Tylenol or Advil. I also rarely, very rarely, get a fever (it's been years). And even then, I only treat a fever if it's 103+.

I do have some non conventional things I do that most doctors would strongly advise against doing due to some risks involved. No medicine, no drugs, no drinks. Let me just say, it involves heat. I don't recommend it because everyone reacts differently, but it works for me.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
40,988
I know it dehydrates you,
It doesn't actually. It is a diuretic in that it makes you pee. And older research that was poorly performed decided that would make you dehydrated. But more recent research shows that it doesn't make you pee a greater quantity than if you hadn't taken it, just more often.

For me, I only treat the symptoms if I need to do something (like go to work) that having those symptoms will interfere with. For work, it's mostly the lingering cough that I treat once I'm feeling better.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information