Antibiotics Not Useful in Treating Viral Colds and Upper Respiratory Infections
By: Pamela Egan, FNP-C CDE
most colds aren’t considered serious illnesses, they undoubtedly can
affect the way you feel. Have you noticed that most nonprescription drug
products are not effective in treating the common cold?
of viruses, particularly rhinoviruses, can cause the upper respiratory
infection known as the common cold. We all know that nasal secretions
from coughing or sneezing can spread cold viruses. Most colds are spread
by hand to hand contact with someone who has a cold such as doorknobs,
grocery baskets, computer keyboards, or telephones. Once you touch your
mouth, nose or eyes after such exposure to a cold virus, you can acquire
and other upper respiratory infections often occur during cold weather
months, when most people spend more time indoors. That close, extended
contact with others who may be sick increases risks.
of the common cold usually appear about 1-3 days after exposure to a
virus. The most common symptoms are a runny or stuffy nose, itchy or
sore throat, cough, sneezing, watery eyes, body aches or a mild
headache, mild fatigue, and a low grade fever.
which are used to treat bacterial infections, are not useful in
treating colds which are viral. There’s no known cure for colds. There
are some remedies that help relieve symptoms. My favorite is vitamin C,
specifically, Ester C 1000mg 4 times a day. Zinc (50 mg a day while
you’re sick) and probiotics are natural antivirals. Zinc lozenges may
reduce the duration of symptoms. Of course you should also be taking
your Fish Oil & Multi-Vitamins.
plenty of liquids such as plain water, juice, clear broth and chicken
soup, help loosen the mucus that can cause congestion and helps prevent
dehydration. Using humidifiers or vaporizers moisten the air around you
and ease congestion. There’s nothing like the smell of Vick’s Vapor rub
coming from the vaporizer. Make sure that you replace the water daily to
avoid mold, fungi or bacteria.
should be used only after consulting with your health care provider.
They should not be used if you have high blood pressure, heart disease,
kidney disease, glaucoma, thyroid problems, or diabetes. Saltwater
saline spray is safe to use to relieve a stuffy nose.
(Mucinex), can help to thin mucus and are considered safe.
Antihistamines will help to relieve a runny nose, but may slow down the
passage of germs since it dries everything up and makes it thicker.
Remember to wash your hands well. Regularly clean surfaces and shared
objects with disinfectants. Limit exposure to others with colds if at
all possible. Maintain good health habits. Eat well balanced meals, take
a good quality vitamin, get enough sleep, & exercise regularly to
keep your immune system healthy.
statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The products referenced are not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.