questionswhat is your preferred over the counter cold…


Sudafed or the generic for congestion. Tussin for coughing. And hit yourself with some zicam.

Hope you feel better. Being sick sucks.


Two fingers of Irish whisky...drop of honey...squeeze of any citrus fruit, and a splash of hot water or hot apple cider.

If you're a health nut...add a green tea bag!

It wont cure you... but after two, you won't care anymore!


Second the sudafed. I use a generic cough syrup when needed. Crummy to be sick on the weekend.


SudaCare Shower Soothers. You don't swallow them, so no potential drowsiness, dry membranes, etc. Run the shower as hot as you can stand it, drop one under the stream, and climb in. Breathe deeply. Amazing stuff! Clears everything up for at least a day or so!


@107bear: heh, heh. Tea bag.

Now I want a whiskey.


Sudafed works pretty well, but really there isn't much you can do but let the cold run its course. Try and stay home, stay away from people and wash your hands as much as you can. I've found that spending extra time in the shower breathing the steam loosens up mucus, so you can cough it out.


Buckleys not because it tastes good but because it works


Let's talk about the actual active ingredient - brand and method of delivery matter much less.

chest congestion - dextromethorphan and guafenesin

sinus congestion/pressure - pseudoephedrine (phenylephrine doesn't cut it - get it from behind the counter, no prescription needed).

fever/light-headedness - ibuprofen

coughing - it's usually from sinus drainage, so usually sudafed, but dextromethorphan can help.

nasal congestion - dextromethorphan and guafenesin and possibly pseudoephedrine depending on the cause of the nasal congestion.

Also, any sort of zinc supplement like cold-eez, or generic seem to make a difference - it gives the immune system a bit of a nutrient boost. I take it several hours apart from vitamin c containing juice. Not near the same time as they interfere with each other's absorption.

Note - all but the Zinc supplement just relieve symptoms. They do little except keeping the sinus clear enough to prevent worse infection. I try to use as little as possible.


Whatever the gas station has for a generic multi-symptom cold med washed down with a couple vitamin waters...


Thank you all for the information, I will pick up some different things in the next day or two when I make it out of the house..

I picked up some "tylenol cold and flu severe" at the local 24/7 market for now, it is the only none kid cold meds they carry =/.


My go-to has been "Alka-Seltzer Plus" (but usually the generic equivalent). It always has me back on track in 24 hours. Either that, or I had a 24-hour bug that expired by itself. :)


Afrin. I can't take sudafed, and usually my biggest problem is congestion. I take two squirts of Afrin before bed and I can breathe through the night.

As an added bonus, pharmacies are not legally required to treat you like a criminal when you buy Afrin. The only downside it is has one of the most vile tastes I have ever experienced, if it trickles into your throat from your nose.


@belyndag: I love the shower soothers but i can never find them. I don't think they make them anymore. Severely overpriced on Amazon but here's a site where you can make them yourself...


@jsimsace: I absolutely cannot stand those, makes me a little nauseous thinking about drinking one hehe


@fmp031000: 48$ on amazon for 3? What is the normal price?


Enough fluids that you are making constant trips to the bathroom. Sleep. Ibuprofen.


You should also consider the cause of your symptoms. If you have just a common cold then you are pretty much stuck with treating the symptoms until your own immune system can kill the virus and the symptoms resolve themselves. For that you can use any of the medications or treatments listed by the other wooters.

However, if you are like me and your symptoms are the result of an infection caused by allergies then treating the cause is as important as treating the symptoms. Start with a good anti-histamine such as Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin. You could also use reliable standby's such as Benedryl, Tavist or Dimetapp. Choose whichever is the most effective without knocking you out or leaving you terribly groggy.

From there choose any of the fine OTC medications recommended by the loyal wooters who have already responded.

Finally, you could try hot tea with honey to help relieve some of your symptoms. It has helped me in the past to resolve symptoms much faster. Get well.


Depends on the cold - if it's just a cough, or sore throat etc - i usually just tough it out. When it's sinuses - the pressure gets to me very badly, and that's when i'll take something. I like the advil or tylenol severe cold and sinus SPECIFICALLY - the controlled ones with the pseudoephedrine. The ones with phenelephrine sort of work on me, but especially for the sinus pressure, don't help as much as the PE formula.. Mucinex also works on me once it starts loosening up. To help shorten the duration (and this depends on the person, obviously) - i'll usually increase my workouts to include more cardio. even if you can't hit it with the same intensity - you should try to stay active. Anything that gets my lungs working better (unless i begin uncontrollable coughing lol) tends to shorten the duration of my winter ills. Also - humidify! I went from steam heat to forced air, and for years didn't understand why winters would hit me so much harder. Better now with a humidifier.


For any kind of sinus unhappiness, whether stuffy or runny, I highly recommend a neti pot. It might take a few uses to reach maximum effectiveness, but it really helps. Read the directions; be prepared to brush your teeth after using the neti pot. I have severe allergies and daily use in the shower has dramatically reduced my symptoms.


I usually look at the maximum strength Mucinex and find the combination of ingredients that make up the dosage on the Mucinex and take the liquid combination according to the Mucinex directions. I am not a medical person, nor do I play one on television, so take my advice at your own risk...I'm just answering the question.


@omnichad: How do the amoebas get to the brain...I mean...last time I checked, my nose, nasal cavities, and sinuses, while close to the brain, are not directly linked to it. These must be some tough hombre amoebas that can eat through those places! Thanks for posting!


I agree with @omnichad: with the Zinc but add C. Zinc and C will shorten the life of the cold. Perhaps even avoid a cold. As soon as I think I feel anything I start the regiment.
I get the zinc 50mg and the C 500mg supplemental vitamin.
Zinc 3x a day with food. and C 8 (or if you can not do 8 as much as you can stand with lots of liquids).


A large plate of Italian food drowned in meat sauce. For some reason, my best cold busters are:

Italian food with lots of red sauce
Pineapple sandwiches (super fresh white bread, mayo, canned sliced pineapple)
Orange juice, with shreds
Tomato juice with lots of fresh lime squeezed in

Don't ask about the sandwich. I grew up on banana and mayo sandwiches and pineapple and mayo sandwiches and didn't find out till I was an adult that everyone didn't eat them. Note the underlying theme of Vitamin C? Fresh pineapple would doubtless work better but I am allergic to it.


@omnichad: I about choked my fool self to death on one of those enormous zinc dissolvables so I am now completely wary of zinc. It was one of those that you are supposed to hold in your mouth until it dissolves. I was watching TV and stopped thinking about this thing in my mouth and reflexively swallowed it. It got stuck sideways a few inches into my throat and I couldn't dislodge it. Although it was extremely painful I was very lucky it wasn't blocking my airway. I heated water in the microwave and sat and concentrated on relaxing and sipping the hot water as much as I could tolerate to help it dissolve and it finally went down. But ever since then I have had a problem with food and pills getting stuck right there so I think it may have damaged my esophagus. No more zinc horse pills for me.


@supersox: Amoeba can use the olfactory nerve as a conduit from the nose to the brain. My current place is connected to town water and I confess that I do not use boiled/sterilized water with my neti pot; when I lived in a place with well water, I did.


Update: I am still alive somehow.. The cough is as worse as ever, sore throat maybe starting to go away, sleeping 12+ hours a day.