Are there medicines I can take for the cold?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,616
    Dr. Ronald Turner, Professor of Pediatrics, UVA, Virginia School of Medicine discusses medicines to can take for the cold.

    Dr. Ronald Turner

    Ronald Turner, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Turner earned his MD degree from Southern Illinois University and did his training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Columbus Children’s Hospital (Ohio State University) and the University of Virginia. He subsequently served in faculty positions at the University of Utah and the Medical University of South Carolina. In addition to his administrative role at the University of Virginia, Dr. Turner has clinical care and teaching responsibilities in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. His research interests are directed at the pathogenesis and treatment of viral respiratory infections.

    Host: Are there medicines I can take for the cold?

    Ronald Turner: Well, there are no medicines that cure a cold, but there are no medicines that will shorten the duration of the cold, but there are symptomatic medications that are useful for relieving symptoms. So, if the primary symptom that you are experiencing is pain, if it is sore throat or headache, obviously, analgesics are useful for treatment of pain.

    If your primary symptom is nasal obstruction, the topical nasal decongestants, the nose sprays are very effective for relieving nasal obstruction. You have to be careful with them because overuse can actually lead to a rebound effect. Then if you have runny nose, the first generation antihistamines that is the antihistamines that are associated with sedation and sleepiness are effective for the treatment of the runny nose associated with colds. So, the effect of that is about a 30% reduction in runny nose which you have to balance off against the fact that those symptoms are going to be or those treatments are going to be associated with sedation in a large number of people.