The cold and the flu are viral infections that can’t be effectively treated with antibiotics. Because of this, you may struggle to find over-the counter treatment that relieves your symptoms. Our clinical director Dr Sylvester Mooney has compiled his best advice for at-home treatment.
Treat Your Cold From Home
In general, colds will cause more sinus problems than the flu, like a blocked nose, headache and cough. Dr Mooney recommends the following:
- Saline nasal wash. This helps to flush out your nasal passages.
- Regular doses of paracetamol, which can be interspersed with ibuprofen for pain relief.
- Sudafed (a decongestant) can be helpful but use should only be for a few days maximum. Otherwise, rebound congestion can occur, in which congestion returns as a result of using decongestants.
Flu treatment from home
The flu comes on more suddenly than a cold and often includes a fever, muscle aches and fatigue. Over-the-counter treatments for the flu include:
- To keep your temperature down, use paracetamol with Nurofen. If you can’t swallow the paracetamol due to a swollen throat, suppositories are available
- To treat throat pain, use strepsils and a throat spray that contains anesthetic.
- Monitor the colour of the phlegm in the nose and the chest. If it is green or brown, more investigation by your local GP could be required.
If your cold or flu symptoms do not improve and you would like to speak with a GP, book a video consultation with Webdoctor today.