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Cold medicine question
Old 12-30-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
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Cold medicine question

I normally take generic zyrtec for allergies. I am suffering a cold and I don't tolerate pseudoephedrine well (its like what speed must be like for others), so I picked up Corocidin HBP. Aside from dextromethorphan, this also has chlorpheniramine maleate. When I look the latter up, it is listed as an antihistamine, not a decongestant. Bad combination with my daily zyrtec? It is worth noting that benadryl knocks me out pretty badly.
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 12-30-2006, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Cold medicine question

Common cold (viral): Treatment is symptomatic. Zinc claims have not turned out to be impressive, and the incidence of nausea etc. probably makes it of little benefit, overall. Viatamin C: unimpressive results in real research. Antihistamines like chlorpheniramine dry out secretions and cause drowsiness. New ones like Zyrtec lack these "side effects" and thus are not useful for a cold. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine and phenypropanolamine are of slight benefit, and can cause over-stimulation, palpitaions and rarely worse complications. Dextromethorphan, guafenisin: biggest seller out there, no well documentd benefit.

So what to do?
Nasal saline. Works somewhat, free of side effects.

Nasal decongestants: afrin and the rest - decent symptomatic relief, OK for a few days only (you get a rebound after that if you go longer).

Nasal ipratropium or cromolyn - expensive but works for runny nose and sneezing

Acetaminophen and ibuprofen - only if you have pains.

Antibiotics - nope; risks exceed benefits.

It's OK to do nothing but chicken soup and whining. Call you doctor if you have fever over a week, severe pain anywhere, blood coming from anywhere blood isn't supposed to come from, shortness of breath and any symptoms that are hard to explain by common sense.

I usually just get irritable, flood myself with nasal saline, and move on unhappily. Here's a pretty good link.

Meahbh - what did I miss? Hope this is helpful, Brewer.
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 12-30-2006, 06:53 PM   #3
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Re: Cold medicine question

how about an expectorant like mucinex? i hardly ever get sick but i have allergies (just finished 5 years of shots for them). when i travel north during autumn, i find if i take an expectorant for my sinuses they don't bother me even with changing altitude during the plane ride.
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 12-30-2006, 07:28 PM   #4
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Re: Cold medicine question

Brewer (aaaaaCHOOO!) the two antihistamines probably won't be better than one. I suggest you go with chicken soup; it's safer.

Lazy, Mucinex is Guaifenesin, which Rich has already discussed.

Rich, you covered all the usual suspects.

Research studies, particularly randomized controlled trials, are excellent for determining the population effects of a drug. Delving into the study population who took the drug, you may find quite a variation in reaction. Some people will improve, some will have side effects, and some will notice no effects at all......just like the control group. So one individual might benefit from a particular medication, perhaps because of a specific genetic predisposition. This may be why Mucinex works for Lazy but not for most people. It's also the reason why there is a gazillion dollar cold remedy industry.

I personally find that orange juice and Zinc, taken for 1 day at the first sign of an impending cold, seems to nip it in the bud more often than not.

Meadbh

PS. Wash your hands!



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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 12-31-2006, 04:32 AM   #5
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Re: Cold medicine question

What about a prescription decongestant like Flonase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Nasal saline. Works somewhat, free of side effects.
Unless, of course, the wave closes out and smacks you against the reef...
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 12-31-2006, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: Cold medicine question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
What about a prescription decongestant like Flonase?
Nope. Works well for allergies, though, after several days of use.
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 12-31-2006, 11:52 AM   #7
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Re: Cold medicine question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
What about a prescription decongestant like Flonase?

Uh......no.

"Fluticasone propionate, the active component of FLONASE Nasal Spray, is a synthetic corticosteroid having the chemical name S-(fluoromethyl)6α,9-difluoro-11β-17-dihydroxy-16α-methyl-3-oxoandrosta-1,4-diene-17β-carbothioate, 17-propionate."

Corticosteroids reduce inflammation (good idea in allergies) and predispose to SPREAD of infection (not exactly what you are looking for in a cold). Could be particularly dangerous if you have immune suppression of any kind.


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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 01-03-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
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Re: Cold medicine question

I of course disagree with the no medication idea

As Rich says your basically talking a few medications with overlap.

Theres probaly nothing wrong with adding the coricidin . You could of stopped the zyrtec for the few days. Chlorphenmalete should cause the least sedation of that class of antihistamine. I am sure if it knocked you out you would of said so ...

The antihistamines decrease the secretion of the mucus

the decongestants shrink the vessels and open things up
If you dislike sudafed you can look at taking the lowest dose. 30mg

Or use the nasal sprays. I dont recommend afrin go with a milder decongestant. Some people will only spray one nostril or alternate because of the rebound.

Dextromephorphan is the best - err only cough suppresant that doesnt need a prescription. Its best if the cough is non productive although that can be caused by nasal drip. Which is best treated with antihistamines....
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 01-06-2007, 03:09 AM   #9
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Re: Cold medicine question

It is so cool to have two doctors in the "house". Thanks for all the good advice you put out, Rich-in-Tampa and Meadbh!
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 01-06-2007, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: Cold medicine question

You're welcome, Toejam!
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Re: Cold medicine question
Old 01-06-2007, 08:09 AM   #11
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Re: Cold medicine question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toejam
It is so cool to have two doctors in the "house". Thanks for all the good advice you put out, Rich-in-Tampa and Meadbh!
Glad you find it helpful.
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