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Colds and the flu are hitting many of us and you may decide to purchase over-the-counter medications for some relief. But the dozens of medicines available can be overwhelming so this list of medicines may make your search a bit easier:


  • Analgesics – Provide relief for aches and pain, and reduce fever. Ibuprofen is a common analgesic used to relieve pain caused by the flu.
  • Antihistamines – Take these to sooth a runny nose and watery eyes.
  • Cough suppressants – Use to suppress dry, non-mucus-producing coughs.
  • Expectorants – Help to thin and dislodge mucus and phlegm in the throat.
  • Decongestants – Work to break up nasal congestion and relieve pressure.

Some over-the-counter medicines can be harmful to people with chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. So check with your healthcare provider if you’re uncertain.

The cold and flu viruses share multiple symptoms during the beginning of your illness, including muscle aches, mild fever and coughing, so it might be difficult at first to determine if you should see your doctor.  But if symptoms persist for more than a few days, make an appointment. Also, get lots of rest, drink plenty of water and STAY HOME. Bravely trying to work with the cold or flu virus only exposes others to your illness.

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