A cold can be a nuisance. Colds aren’t fatal but the constant sneezing, watering from the nose and body aches can drain you out. Colds are typically caused by virus infections and hence most antibiotics are not the best medication for a cold. However, there are some types of medication that can help treat specific symptoms of a cold.
NSAIDS or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: This type of medication fights inflammation and can be sued to treat sore throats, headaches and body aches that accompanies a cold. It also has the ability to reduce a fever. Common NSAIDS shoudl not be taken without a doctors consult or prescription. However, do not take NSAIDS if you are on any form of blood thinning medication or suffer from gastric ulcers.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines can help fight allergies and symptoms related to them like a running nose, persistent sneezing and watery eyes. There are many different kinds of antihistamines available today. One of the side effects of most antihistamines is that it will make you feel drowsy.
Decongestants: This medication can help clear a stuffy nose. Decongestants are usually not available over the counter and you will need to get a prescription for them. This is because in rare cases, it can have serious side effects such as fastened heart beats and increased blood pressure.
Expectorants: Colds that are accompanied by a cough can be treated with cough expectorants. These medicines loosen trapped mucus from the lungs by thinning the mucus. This helps relieve congestion. However, it may also cause nausea and headaches.
Nasal decongestants: The best medication for a cold which causes a blocked nose is nasal decongestants. These medicines are injected directly into the nasal cavities to clear sinus congestion. Be careful when using nasal decongestants though as overusing them can make a person dependant on them or cause blood pressure to fluctuate.
Cough suppressants: Cough suppressants or antitussives as they are also known may contain codeine that helps suppress a cough. Like most decongestants, cough suppressants with codeine are not usually available without a prescription as codeine is also considered a narcotic. It can also trigger constipation and drowsiness.
Even though a cold is a minor ailment self-medicating is usually not recommended. If you must medicate yourself, do not use several different remedies at the same time and be careful of the dosage you take. Instead eat foods rich in vitamin C and drink plenty of water and hot fluids. You could also try a steam inhalation to clear nasal congestion. Spices such as ginger, garlic and turmeric can also be beneficial in curing a cold.