Is a No-drowse Cold Relief Good For You?
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Is a No-drowse Cold Relief Good For You?

Cold relief preparations are usually OTC or Over-the-Counter types. People tend to buy these medications with the first signs of cold symptoms. While, consumers choose the most commercialized brands, the ‘no-drowse’ cold medicine is also popular for use. The non-drowsy type of cold relief may be better than the regular cold drug preparation, but is it ideal?

About 200 types of virus can cause a common cold. While the human body develops immunity to a certain virus, sooner or later, another breed of virus tends cause the same infection. The good news, a person who is always exposed to cold virus in his younger years is apt to have a lesser chance of getting a cold in his mature life.

A common cold may not require medication. Antibiotics cannot treat it. Cold remedies do not actually cure a cold but only provide relief for its symptoms. With rest, a lot of fluids and making oneself comfortable, the body’s own immune system will eventually eliminate the cold virus. Unfortunately, some people may need to work or perform some important tasks. Instead of taking a break or rest, they tend to buy a cold medicine – a no drowse type in particular.

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A regular cold relief generally causes sleepiness as a side effect. With this, a non-drowsy preparation of cold relief is believed to be better than the regular type. But, is a no-drowse cold relief really a good choice?

Cold relief components

Cold relief medications are usually composed of several active components - the decongestant (phenylpropanolamine or phenyleprine) the analgesic/ antipyretic (paracetamol) and the antihistamine (chlorphenamine or brompheniramine). Sometimes, a cough remedy is also included in a cold relief combination. Decolsin (Westmont) for instance has dextromethorpan and guiafenesin in combination with paracetamol and phenlypropanolamine. However, Decolsin is considered as a cough and cold preparation. And this type of drug usually needs a prescription.

As cited, OTC cold preparations only relieve the symptoms. Considering the active constituents in a cold relief medication, each has its own purpose. Generally, mild headache, slight fever, nasal congestion and allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, itchy nose or throat are the warning signs of a common cold. With these symptoms, each active constituent in a cold drug preparation promotes the necessary comfort.

Analgesic/antipyretic relieves the mild aches; decongestant reduces the swelling in the nasal passages that the patient can breathe freely; the antihistamines on the other hand, provide assistance for allergy symptoms.

The bottom line

Headaches, fever, body pains maybe well tolerated that sometimes a cold relief preparation won’t include paracetamol (eg. Zeditapp [Medhaus] with PPA or Phenylpropanolamine and brompheniramine). A cold preparation like Nasathera (Morishita-Seggs) which only includes PPA and paracetamol maybe ideal for individuals who is not suffering from allergy symptoms but if someone cannot bear conditions of stuffy nose accompanied by sneezing, itchy nose and watery eyes, a cold relief preparation with an antihistamine can be a good choice. Rest is also an ideal option. But, if symptoms do not improve - with persistent cough and fever, for three to four days, it is essential to seek medical aid from a physician.

© Phoenix Montoya @ November 16, 2011

References:

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-cold/DS00056
  2. mims.com

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Comments (13)

I think it's better to discuss with a doctor prior to using this medication.

I prefer this one when I have to take the medication in the morning. But I take the other one when it is night.

Good tips right before cold season too. I find even the nondrowsy meds make me sleepy. I prefer to only take cold meds before bed.

Ranked #11 in Wellness

I prefer to take herbal based medication for cold relief because you don't have to worry about any side effects like drowsiness etc. Acupressure therapy also helps get prevention from cold and flu.

Great article...

Thank you for sharing helpful information.

Ranked #3 in Wellness

Another masterpiece from your pen. Keep it up.

Very good information and advice Phoenix.

Ranked #68 in Wellness

Very helpful, voted up!

Ranked #1 in Wellness

Thank you for this valuable information.

Because of hypertension, I am limited on which otc medications I can use and truthfully prefer natural remedies. You are right, as we get older we get fewer colds, thankfully!! Your information is always very thorough and helpful. Thank you.

Very useful information. well done

Useful information thanks Phoenix!

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