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common cold medications


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  • common cold medications

    I'm sure I'm not the first person to ask this, but can't find an answer using the search engine.

    I've got a common cold. It's early winter here. I've had a sore throat, I'm snuffling and I can feel a cough developing.

    I know that I'm not supposed to take anything with ephidrene or pseudo-ephidrine (i.e. all those keep your symptoms at bay for 12 hours non stop medications).

    But at the same time usually when I get a cold like this it descends to my chest and leads to a long term hacking cough.

    Which, it seems to me, sets off all the same muscles as that vavasour manoevre which ups the impact of my heart murmur.

    So I figure I should avoid heavy coughing spells.

    I take paracetamol, and drink lots of hot lemon drinks and sleep sitting up and try inhalations and cough linctus, but what does anyone else do to deal with colds?

    I know it's early summer US, so it's probably not top of your agendas right now, but any advice would be most welcome

  • #2
    Sorry to hear about your cold. What works for me is when I feel like a cold is coming on I drown myself with OJ. I'm talking 1-2 gallons a day. Two or three days of this and I'm fine. It works for me. I havn't had a cold or what I would consider a cold for over 30 yrs. I do spend a lot of time in the bathroom but it flushes my body clean. I also take multi-vits with my heart meds.

    I think 30 years without a cold is pretty good...

    " Real Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling-Up Anyway "


    • #3

      Hi there

      I cannot say I have gone 30 years without a cold (Not even that old. ) but it has been a long time since i have gotton a cold / flu that is anything more than a sniffle for a day or 2. I used to take all the regular off-the-shelf stuff available in the States - and i felt it made me worse.

      Now i do just a tigger1 does, Pure orange juice with lots of pulp and lots of vitamin C. With this solution, the most i have gotton over the past 5 years is a sniffle or the onset of a cold that lasts for a day or so. I live by this for the cold/Flu season.



      • #4

        Vitamin C can interfere with Coumadin, which I take, so I irrigate my sinuses twice a day (some people can get away with just once a day -depends on humidity, pollen, etc).

        When I irrigate at least once a day, I never get a cold. http://www.jalanetipot.com/ You can irrigate when you are sick, as is will literally flush the crud out of your head. (For lung congestion, steam, steam, steam!)

        This article below also points out that while Vitamin C is essential, fruit juices are not good for you because they have so much sugar. Eating the plain fruit is better. Also, thick orange juice is too dense to count as a liquid to your body. Just as with coffee or alcohol, drink a glass of water for each glass of juice. (This article has a lot of good info on colds.)



        • #5

          I vote with Sarah (and others on the board) re: nasal rinses. I started using a commercial product (which is apparently available in N.Z.) in January because of recurring sinusitis and general nastiness. I've managed to stop daily antihistamine & decongestant because of this rinse. Using these things is not as ugly or gross as it sounds!

          check out http://www.neilmed.com/ and in particular the Pharmacies/MDs link at the bottom of the page for contact/availability info (including kiwi-land).

          I am not employee of this company (just a satisfied user).

          Regards (feel better!)
          --Living life on the edge .. of a continent!
          Charter member: Tinman Club


          • #6
            Hey Rob,

            Thanks for saving me the seach on that Sinus Rinse link. I was going to post that I use that stuff also, and have found it to be a lifesaver. I found it on my own, but my ENT recommends it, as do several other Drs. I know. It is not medicine, doesn't react with anything or have side effects, but it makes the nose feel much better and helps prevent secondary bacterial infections from occurring.
            Daughter of Father with HCM
            Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
            Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
            ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
            Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


            • #7
              for the curious

              I can't swear by the neti pot (sinus/nasal irrigation) enough.

              For anyone who says, well, how can it be better than medication, I will tell you. ( )

              The mucus membranes in your sinuses are your body's first line of defense against disease (besides your skin, of course). When the sinus cavity's linings (made of mucus aka snot!) are moist and healthy, you are protected.

              When the membranes dry out (airplanes, air conditioning, heat, etc), then you are at risk for getting sick. Then, in reaction, your body wants to flush out the disease so it prodcues tons of mucus to compensate and get the toxins out. Well, you know what that leads to. Misery.

              Sinus irrigation keeps the sinuses moist and clean, thus preventing colds and infections. And if you DO get sick, the irrigation will flush out the congestion. Win-win.

              Also, interesting fact, because colds are caused by a virus, antihistamines are not effective (if you are having an allergic reaction or hay fever, they will help).


              • #8
                Hi-- Wish I could say I'd been 30 years without a cold, that's great! I teach preschool full time, so I'm kind of on the firing line as it were.....so here's my remedy list....

                I put in another vote for the Neti pot or other saline irrigation techniques, they can be really helpful, and simple, definitely not druggy.

                Lots of teachers use zinc to ward off colds, especially seems to be effective if taken as soon as the first sniff or odd feeling comes along--get it early. There are zinc lozenges, but they cause stomach upset in a lot of people, including me. But there is zinc that can be used nasally. Zicam is one, that's just zinc, that a lot of teacher friends "swear by". I haven't used it, because I use a nasal spray by NatraBio, "Cold and Sinus" which is an over the counter homeopathic blend that includes the zinc and works great with me. It says it is for the "temporary relief of cold and sinus symptoms" but I think it does a lot to boost immune system and get rid of the cold. It gives me no side effect. I was even thinking tonight I might start taking it once a day or so now just because there's lots of viral crud going around now and I DO NOT want to be sick when it gets to my myectomy date in June.

                You are right, pseudoephedrine is not supposed to be good to take with heart problems--I imagine because it speeds up the heart? I've never liked pseudoephedrine or similar things, especially the ones that supposedly kill all symptoms for 24 hours--I much prefer to buy my over the counter stuff in ways that is just one drug per product, so I just take what I need. I also buy liquid things or even pediatric doses so I can take very small doses, when needed as a last ditch survival tool. I don't have any trouble with Guaifenesin (such as Robitussin brand that is only guaifenesin in it) as an expectorant. When things get rough if need be I may take a quarter dose of Sinutab, which does have pseudoephedrine but I seem to be not bothered by that small a dose, and the small dose is plenty effective for the cold. Again, I just do that if I think I'll go nuts without it, or be awake all night with an irritating cough when I need sleep, etc.

                Throat stuff: gargle or spray throat with antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine.

                And yes, lots of water and vitamin C. Emergen'C packs with 1000 mg. of vitamin C as mineral ascorbates also seems to help a lot--I keep a box at school for all of us to use...

                Lisa Inman


                • #9
                  common cold medications

                  Thanks so much for all the suggestions, people.

                  Thanks especially for the nasal spray suggestions. I had completely forgotten that I've used them before (maybe not the specific ones mentioned, but ones which have worked), so went and stocked up today.

                  I really want to focus on it not settling on my chest and the long term cough setting in. Most winters it's the people I work with who get fed up first and send me off to the doctor because they're sick and tired of hearing me!

                  This year I'm determined to be first off the block, so if I can stop it getting there so much the better!