Sneezing, sore throat, a stuffy nose, coughing — everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In the course of a year, people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds.
What can you do for your cold or cough symptoms? Besides drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest, you may want to take medicines. 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
- Pain relievers – ease fever, headaches, and minor aches and pains
Here are some other things to keep in mind about cold and cough medicines. Read labels, because many cold and cough medicines contain the same active ingredients. Taking too much of certain pain relievers can lead to serious injury. Do not give cough medicines to children under four, and don’t give aspirin to children. Finally, antibiotics won’t help a cold.