OTC Medicines for the Treatment of Cold & Cough 2017

OTC Medicines Treatment Cold Cough 2017


It is simply a viral infectious disease or a disorder of the upper respiratory tract. Cold also affects the throat, sinuses and the pharynx of the body. (Medicines for Cold & Cough)

The common cold sign & symptoms of cold include:-

  • Coughing
  • A sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Running nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Muscle ache
  • Loss of appetite
  • A headache.
OTC Medicines Treatment Cold Cough 2017

Medicines for Cold & Cough

The common cold causes are as follows:-

  • Viruses
  • Transmission modes like airborne infectious droplets
  • Weather change
  • Improper diet
  • Allergy to dust particles
  • Weak immunity system


It is a sudden occurring protective reflex action of the body. This helps clean the airway passage from any substances like fluids or any irritants. Coughing is voluntary and involuntary.

OTC Medicines Treatment Cold Cough 2017

Medicines for Cold & Cough

Cough causes are:-

  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Airway diseases or disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GRD)
  • Air pollution
  • Foreign substances
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors drugs
  • Lung diseases
  • Intake of large amount of chilly or pepper


Some of the common cold treatment includes:-


These are the drugs of choice mainly for a stuffy & congested nose. They act by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose which leads to decreased blood flow in the nasal tissues and also reduced leakage of fluid from the nose. Decongestants can be taken orally or can be applied locally (topically) in the form of nasal sprays or nasal drops.

  1. Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are decongestants that are taken orally.
  2. Phenylephrine and oxymetolazone are some examples of topical decongestants.

Topical decongestants are effective after a few minutes of administration whereas oral preparations (tablets) take about 30 minutes to show their effect.

Decongestants act as stimulants that can enhance the heart rate, increases the blood pressure, exacerbate palpitations and lead to the feelings of nervousness or feeling “hyper.”

Note:- Decongestants do not relieve a runny or an itchy nose.

OTC Medicines Treatment Cold Cough 2017

Medicines for Cold & Cough


These drugs counteract the effects of histamine which is a chemical released by the body during allergic reactions. Histamines cause sneezing and itching of the throat and the eyes, and also a running nose.

Over the counter, antihistamines are divided into two groups. They are:-

  1. First generation antihistamines:- This class includes drugs like brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, dimenhydrinate, doxylamine, and diphenhydramine. These drugs generally have a sedating effect on the patient. These drugs take about 30-60 minutes to show their effect after its administration or intake.
  2. Second generation antihistamines:- Loratidine is the new second-generation drug. These class of drugs does not possess the sedating effects.

Cough medicines are either expectorants or cough suppressants. These medicines are used for dry coughing and persistent coughing.

Expectorants are the medicines that help bring up the mucus from the airways. Guaifenesin is a common expectorant used. It enhances the drainage of mucus from the lungs and acts by thinning the mucus and also lubricates the irritated respiratory tract.

OTC Medicines Treatment Cold Cough 2017

Medicines for Cold & Cough


Cough suppressants are intended or used to decrease coughing. A common OTC cough suppressant known is dextromethorphan which acts on the brain to suppress coughing. Dextromethorphan was not found to be more effective in placebo in trials.

Suppression of coughing can be dangerous in people suffering from airway diseases or disorders. A cough caused due to the upper airway viral infections can be treated with humidity and fluid administration.

Some of the combination preparations are also available which contain one or more of the above drugs. Combinations of drugs with pain and fever-reducing drugs like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc are also available. These are available in both tablets as well as in liquid form.

The liquid preparations are useful for children who may need smaller doses. Combination of decongestants with antihistamine medications can also be well-tolerated because of the stimulant effect of the decongestant and the sedative effect of the antihistamine set each other off.

OTC Medicines Treatment Cold Cough 2017

Medicines for Cold & Cough


These steps might help you relieve common cold discomfort. They are:-

  • Drink plenty of liquids, which include chicken soup. It makes you feel better.
  • To relieve a sore throat use a gargle with warm salt water, use throat sprays, and consume ice or lozenges.
  • Try a salt water nasal rinse. These can help with a stuffy or a runny nose.
  • Use petroleum jelly on the nose if it is irritated from constant blowing. Facial tissues with added lotions can also help prevent, and heal the redness and soreness.
  • Use a humidifier to help break up the phlegm.

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