Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.
Are You Making Your Cold Worse?
Ugh! You’ve caught another @#$%! cold. (Darn you, germy children or coworkers!) There must be something you can do to get rid of it faster. But be careful. These things can actually make you worse:
Antibiotics. Colds are caused by viruses, so antibiotics are useless. They only fight bacterial infections. Taking them for a cold can make it harder to fight bacterial infections in the future.
Pretending you’re well. Faking it until you make it robs you of resting time to get well and risks spreading germs to others. (Darn you … you!)
Overdoing over-the-counter (OTC) cold products. Medicated decongestant nasal sprays may provide short-term relief, but overuse can actually make nasal congestion worse.
Here’s a cold hard truth: There are no magical cures for the common cold. Nada! So what works?
In the words of the wise one, Cookie Monster—“Take it slow, take it easy, take a rest.” And drink plenty of fluids to help your immune system destroy the virus. (Cookie didn’t say that one.)
Wash your hands often. Try not to touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands. (Gross.)
Isolate yourself. Stay home while you are sick. Limit contact with loved ones, too.
Read labels and use OTC cold relief remedies as directed. Pain relievers and decongestants may provide symptom relief, but they won’t shorten your cold.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Gonnella, Joseph, MD
Date Last Reviewed:
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.