Cold and cough medications have been used by many people for many years, and now. Winter month is the season where cold and cough are an incredibly common problem. To get relief from the symptoms of cold and cough, we often get help from over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. But, safety is often taken as granted because of a lack of awareness. We inhere, will be discussing everything you must know about cold and cough medicines as well as how to use them safely.
What things to know about cold and cough medications?
According to drug.com, cough and cold medication contain 1 or more active ingredients to relieve the symptoms. Some OTC medicine contains antitussive, expectorant, or both. Some cold medicines may contain any combination of cough medicine, antihistamine, decongestant, and pain medicine.
The above-mentioned active ingredients of cold and cough medicines perform different functions.
- Nasal decongestant: The type of drug that is used to get relief from a clogged or stuffy nose.
- Cough suppressants: Medicines that suppress coughing or quiet a cough, also known as an antitussive.
- Expectorants: Type of active ingredients of cold and cough medications that loosen mucus so you can cough it out.
- Antihistamines: Active ingredient which is used to stop the symptoms of allergy, such as runny noses and sneezing.
- Pain relievers: As the name suggests, pain relievers ease fever, headaches, and minor aches and pains.
How to use cold and cough medications safely?
If the medicines are taken while considering the safety measures, it will not cause any serious health risks. Here are some tips for using cold and cough medications safely:
1. Be sure of the usage
Properly follow the direction as recommended and make sure to know the quantity and frequency before taking medicines. Avoid overdose and misuse of medications. Take that medicine which deals with the symptom.
2. Cold and cough medications with pain medicine
Avoid making combinations of cough and cold medicines with pain medicine, as there are chances of cold medicines contain the same ingredient. If you make such a combination you may end up taking too much of the same ingredient.
3. Cold medicines with prescription medicines
There is no combination of cough and cold medicines with prescription medicines unless it is approved by a healthcare provider. Taking them all together will reduce the efficiency of the medicines and most probably will lead to side effects.
4. No combination of alcohol with medicines
Avoid taking cold and cough medicines with alcohol, otherwise, it will make you sleepy and lethargic. Moreover, it can impose serious health risks.
When to seek immediate care?
In some cases, you better seek help from a healthcare provider if you have symptoms, such as:
- Severe sore throat with fever, headache, rash, nausea, or vomiting.
- Fever lasting for more than 3 days.
- Continuous cough for more than 1 week.
- wheezing while coughing or breathing.
- Having a blurry vision or dilated pupils (pupils larger than normal in size).
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Severe headache that won’t go away.
Lastly, people with a certain condition, such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, or liver disease, must take help from a doctor before taking OTC cold and cough medications. The same goes for pregnant or breastfeeding mother, ask your healthcare provider for help if you symptoms of cold and cough.
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