OTC Cold Medicine: The Best Cold and Flu Medicine for Symptoms

Common cold symptoms are caused by the body’s immune systems fighting the virus. While the immune system fights the disease, the body feels drained. OTC cold and flu medicine provides you with relief. These medications are only suitable for comfort relief. If symptoms persist, seek the help from a qualified physician.

Tylenol and Aspirin for Cold Aches

Tylenol is the brand name for acetaminophen. Aspirin and Tylenol are cold remedies for the common aches and pains felt in the whole body. Aspirin blocks an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, which is involved in the synthesis of prostaglandins. Blocking production relieves pain and fever in the patient. Tylenol is a common pain reliever included with more potent drugs such as Vicodin.

Over the Counter Decongestant for Stuffy and Runny Nose

Pseudoephedrine is the most effective and common ingredient for a stuffy nose. Sudafed is an OTC cold medicine that helps reduce congestion, but the pseudoephedrine ingredient is also a part of methamphetamine synthesis. For this reason, Sudafed is now regulated by the FDA. You can buy Sudafed, but you must ask for it from the pharmacy counter. Afrin contains oxymetazoline, which is not as effective, but it is a cold and flu medicine alternative to Sudafed.

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Cough Suppressant and Expectorant Medication

Coughing in the middle of the night keeps you from having a good night’s sleep, which makes it harder for the body to fight off the virus. These common cold symptoms are treated with a cough suppressant that has DXM (dextromethorphan). DXM addiction is an increasing concern, so cough syrup is abused by some addicts. DXM is found in Nyquil Cold and Flu medication.

DXM suppresses the cough, but an unproductive cough leaves mucus in the lower respiratory tract. This can lead to pneumonia, so it’s healthier to promote a productive cough with an expectorant. These are often found in Robitussin with the active ingredient called guaifenesin.

Sore Throat Medicine

The aspirin and acetaminophen help with the sore throat pain. Throat lozenges such as Chloraseptic and Sucrets contain benzocaine. This is an analgesic that stops the pain when it is swallowed. Salty foods and even gargling with salt water helps fight the infection. The warm water from simple chicken broth soothes the throat without upsetting the stomach. Some throat lozenges and sprays contain an antibacterial, but this does not help with a viral infection.

These OTC drugs are some of the best cold and flu medicine for comforting the common cold symptoms. Sore throat causes can be more than just a cold, so make sure to see a family physician if the fever increases or the pain persists.