The flu is a common illness, and many people suffer from it at least two or three times in a year. Although most people do not take the flu seriously, it is still a virus that needs to be treated properly. Even a mild cold or flu can disturb your daily activities. While we all know there is no cure for the common cold, it won’t stop most people from spending a fortune to treat it. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on vitamins, doctor visits, medicines, and so on, in hopes of quickly and successfully treating their cold and flu symptoms.

OTC Cough, Cold & Flu Medications

When you get sick and have an irritating cough, you just want quick relief. There are dozens of OTC medications on the pharmacy shelves that promise to quieten the cough, cold and flu. Unsure about what to select from the hundreds of cold and flu preparations on the drugstore shelves? You’re not alone. Deciding among the OTC (over-the-counter) remedies for cold, flu, or allergy symptoms can be intimidating, and a basic understanding of the types of drugs contained in these medications can help you make an informed choice.

 

SymptomMedication to look forIngredients in Medication
Aches/painsAnalgesic drugaspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen
Cough with mucusExpectorant drugguaifenesin
FeverAntipyretic drugaspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen
Dry coughAntitussive drugdextromethorphan
Headache Analgesic drugaspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen
Sneezing Antihistamine drugdiphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, pheniramine
Itchy eyes/nose/throat Antihistamine drug diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, brompheniramine, clemastine, pheniramine
Running nose Antihistamine drugcertizine, fexofenadine, diphenhydramine, brompheniramine,
lortadine, clemastine, chlorpheniramine, pheniramine
Congestion/Stuffy noseDecongestantpseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline
Sore throatAnalgesic drug, anestheticbenzyl alcohol, aspirin, benzocaine, acetaminophen, naproxen ibuprofen​
 

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