SEVERE WX: Air Quality Alert View Alerts

Navigating Cough and Cold Medicines

Choosing the right medicine for cough and cold symptoms can be a daunting task.

Posted: Jan. 19, 2018 7:28 AM
Updated: Jan. 22, 2018 10:33 AM

CLEVELAND – Choosing the right medicine for cough and cold symptoms can be a daunting task.


The options may seem endless, but Cleveland Clinic pharmacist Angela Giallourakis said making sure a medication is safe for a person’s specific health situation is a good place to start.

“It is important to look at the box and see what’s in there, how many ingredients are there and then check the contraindications for if you have a disease state,” said Giallourakis. “If you’re taking a medication you can have overlap, it could cause a spike in blood pressure, or it could be harmful with something you’re currently taking.”

Once it’s determined that a medicine is safe, look for products that match symptoms.

Giallourakis recommends sticking to cold medicines versus allergy medicines.

Both contain antihistamines, but cold medicines contain the type that are designed to dry up a runny nose and post-nasal drip, which may also help relieve a cough.

A dry cough that lingers for more than a few weeks can be treated with a ‘DM’ cough product to stop the cough– however she warns that bronchitis should not be treated with this type of medicine.

Chest congestion and a cough that brings up mucus can be treated with products that contain guaifenesin which are designed to bring up more mucus.

Folks can find relief from stuffy symptoms by using a decongestant.

Giallourakis said products that contain pseudoephedrine are more effective, but require a photo ID to purchase them.

A nasal spray designed for congestion can also help treat a stuffy nose but shouldn’t be used for more than three days.

And when it comes to herbal medicines to relieve symptoms, Giallourakis said they’re not proven to be effective.

“There are herbal products available over-the-counter that are marketed for cough and cold symptoms, but most are not recommended – things like vitamin C, Echinacea, “said Giallourakis. “They can maybe help to shorten the duration or severity of symptoms, but it’s very minor.”

Giallourakis said certain people should use extra caution when shopping for cough and cold medicines, especially children, pregnant or nursing women, those with high blood pressure, glaucoma, thyroid disease, or anyone with urinary retention problems.

Article Comments

Medford
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 90°
Brookings
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
Crater Lake
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 83°
Grants Pass
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 93°
Klamath Falls
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 83°
Increasing Smoke and Thunderstorm Chances
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Latest Video

Image

Boo Boo

Image

At The Market: Veggies, Tamales, and Salsa

Image

Monday, August 20 Morning Weather

Image

Health Alert

Image

Golf Tip of the Week: Cougar Canyon Golf Course

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Smoke Returns Monday Along With Storm Chances

Image

Weather is Affecting Firefighting

Image

FAMILIES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MODERATE AIR QUALITY

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Very Warm & Dry Sunday

Image

Two Teams Now Managing Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires

Community Events