Head Cold Medicine

Head Cold Medicine

Over-the-counter medicines for head cold are safe to some extent, when used in moderation. This article provides some information on the medications and their usage.
HealthHearty Staff
Head cold or simply common cold is more often experienced at the time of season change. During that period, our body becomes vulnerable to a wide range of infections that cause cough, cold, and fever. Common cold is contagious and is primarily a viral infection. There are an ample variety of medicines available over the counter. However, home remedies are also effective if the infection is mild.

Common cold is caused by a group of viruses such as coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, and influenza. There are around 200 different viral types associated with the condition. The medical terminology for common cold is acute coryza or acute viral nasopharyngitis. The main symptoms associated with the condition are sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, sinus inflammation, fever, fatigue, headache, body ache, etc. All these symptoms are caused by the viral attack on the respiratory tract. The sinus glands might also get affected, thereby causing sinus pressure or headaches. This is one of the most prominent symptoms. People who smoke and drink regularly are more often susceptible to such types of infections. However, doctors often recommend medications, which are capable of completely eliminating these symptoms.


The medicines available over-the-counter include antihistamines, decongestants, expectorants, cough suppressants, and painkillers. Although, these allopathic drugs give quick relief, they might show some side effects in the long run. The affected person might experience relief, which might depend on the effectiveness of the dose, and the body's response to the drug. Some common examples of antihistamines are Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Triaminic, etc. These syrups being generic are available in the drug stores, and a moderate dose is safe for both adults and children. Doctors also recommend certain antibiotics when these symptoms become severe, and quick recovery is a must.

In case of pregnant women, home remedies or natural cures might prove beneficial. The medications should only be taken after proper consultation with the concerned doctor. Antibiotics and OTC drugs should never be consumed unless recommended by doctors. Doctors usually suggest intake of prenatal vitamins that enhance the body's immunity. The syrups that are available for this condition, often contain mild amount of sedatives that might induce sleep and drowsiness. Over-the-counter common cold lozenges usually contain zinc gluconate or zinc gluconate glycine. Such tablets are safe for consumption, although not in excess. Also, one should consult the physician before administering drugs to children.

Most of the natural remedies for head cold are absolutely safe for everyone. The simple things one could follow are drinking hot fluids, inhaling steam, and keeping the body clean. Drinking hot chicken soup is an effective way to alleviate the discomfort. This is because chicken soup is medically proven to have healing effects on common cold. Drink plenty of water and hot beverages during that period. Water flushes out the toxins from inside. Drinking chamomile, red clover, and ginger tea provides relief from sore throat and headache. Gargling with saline water is the best way to get rid of throat inflammation. Echinacea is a herb known to possess antibiotic properties, and it helps get rid off the infection. Steam vapors of peppermint oil or chamomile oil might also prove beneficial. Vitamins C and zinc can be included in the diet to boost the immune system. Common cold remedies are also associated with personal hygiene. One should always keep the body clean. Taking a steam bath and washing hands with antiseptic hand wash before consuming foods, are some ways of preventing the spread of cold.

The infection at the most lasts for 2 weeks. However, it is advised that medications should not be consumed every time one contracts this infection. It would be better to follow the home remedies first, and then proceed to drugs if symptoms persist.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.