Choices Choices Choices Of Cough Medications
OTC cough and cold medicines come in a bewildering number of varieties. We say cough;and;cold remedies because while there are some products marketed purely as cough remedies often called tussins many have additional ingredients that are supposed to control cold symptoms, too.
It may be a little easier to make a choice if you realize that most of these products contain the same few active ingredients, in a limited number of strengths and combinations. Here’s a rundown of the five main types of ingredients:
Expectorants. These cough medications work chiefly by affecting the production, consistency, and clearance of mucus in various ways. Guaifenesin , which thins mucus, is the most common OTC expectorant. The cough guidelines cite studies showing that guaifenesin is effective, but also point to others showing that it’s not. Want a free, reliable way of loosening mucus? Just try drinking plenty of water the next time you have a cold.
Suppressants. These cough medications work by suppressing the cough reflex in the brain. Dextromethorphan is one of the most common ingredients in over-the-counter cough medicine products.
Still, exactly how the older drugs suppress a cough is unclear. Some researchers say they may work by blocking histamine in the central nervous system. In the brain, histamine is a neurotransmitter, one of the many chemicals that enable cell-to-cell communication. Products billed as “multi-symptom” solutions often include these older drugs.
Best Treatments For Allergy Cough
Coughing can be caused by cold or flu, but it can also be a symptom of an allergic reaction. To treat a cough thats caused by allergies, you can try traditional remedies. In fact, these remedies can sometimes be effective in treating cough caused by flu and cold.
Allergy Cough TreatmentWhether caused by cold or allergies, a bad cough can be irritating and chronic coughing can cause pain and tiredness.
- MedicationsYou can try decongestants, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Decongestants help by drying up mucus, reducing inflammation, and opening up air passages. Cough suppressants soothe the throat and block the cough reflex. Expectorants thin the mucus, making it easy for you to spit it out. Decongestants can increase blood pressure, so those with cardiac issues should consult a doctor before using decongestants.
- Hot ShowerThe heat can help decongest your nose and reduce post nasal drip that tickles your throat and causes coughing.
- Lots of WaterAlways stay hydrated as it helps prevent many ailments and helps clear toxins from the body. It also helps to thin out the mucus and prevent throat dryness that can also cause coughing.
- Mentholated SyrupA mentholated cough drop or syrup can help to soothe and numb the throat. It can also ease the pain and irritation.
Best Home Remedies for Allergy Cough TreatmentsMany traditional remedies have been used for several years, to treat a cold and allergic cough. Here are a few of the best allergy treatments that you that can try:
Which Allergy Medications Affect My Blood Pressure
You should;avoid decongestants if you have high blood pressure;or heart problems. Decongestants constrict blood vessels to open nasal passages and facilitate breathing. Because decongestants constrict blood vessels throughout your body, they can worsen hypertension. Additionally, decongestants stimulate the release of norepinephrine in your body, which raises your blood pressure and your heart rate.
When choosing an allergy medication, be aware of combination products that contain decongestants. Products that contain a decongestant typically have the words;sinus,;cold,;congestion, or;;on the label. They may also be labeled with the letters;D, PD,;or;PE;after the name.
Examples of allergy medicines that contain decongestants include the following:
- Allegra D
- Benadryl D
- Clarinex D
- Claritin D
- Sudafed Sinus and Allergy
- Zyrtec D
The list above is a small sample of allergy medications that contain decongestants. Always check with your pharmacist before choosing allergy medications.
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Types Of Cold And Allergy Medicine
There is a wide variety of over-the-counter medications available to treat allergy, cold, and flu symptoms, including:1
The common and milder side effects of these medications typically resolve on their own. However, other more serious side effects may occur, especially if you take the more of the drug than is recommended or take the medication with other drugs that contain some or all of the same ingredients. For example, many of these medicines contain acetaminophen and an overdose of acetaminophen can do serious harm to your liver.
DayQuil is one such commonly used medication. It contains 325 mg of acetaminophen per capsule and 650 mg per each liquid dose . Per the manufacturers website, taking more than 4 of the recommended doses in a period of 24 hours or taking it with another acetaminophen-containing drug may cause severe liver damage.5 Taking these medicines with alcohol lowers the threshold for sustaining liver injury and compounds this risk .
If youve taken too much of an acetaminophen-containing drug or taken more than one of these medicines and you being to feel abdominal pain, nausea, or begin vomiting, seek emergency medical attention.
Keep Taking Your Medications
Unless your doctor tells you to discontinue, you should never stop taking a medication that has been prescribed for youincluding antidepressants or other drugs used to treat a mental health condition.
Many of the drugs that are used to treat depression and other mental illnesses can cause withdrawal symptoms if they are stopped abruptly. Stopping your medication without consulting your doctor can also lead to relapse or the worsening of symptoms related to your mental health condition.
The symptoms of stopping your medication can be severeeven life-threatening. For example, if a person who is taking a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to treat depression needs or wants to stop taking the medication, they will usually need to slowly taper their dose to reduce the risk of SSRI discontinuation syndrome.
Another reason to continue taking your medication even if you don’t feel well is to help ensure that you don’t make yourself feel worse. If you take an antidepressant to manage depression, stopping it could cause your depression symptoms to come back. You would not want this to happen in the best of times, let alone when you are already not feeling well.
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What Other Drugs Will Affect Dextromethorphan Guaifenesin And Pseudoephedrine
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using this medicine if you are also using any other drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used together. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking this medicine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
When Kids Should Take Antihistamines
Most experts say you should take these meds before symptoms start in order to keep them at bay.
Ask your pediatrician whether you should give your child allergy medicine:
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Can I Take Cough Syrup Along Work Allergy Medicine
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How To Prevent A Cough From Allergies With These Precautions
- Avoid getting close to sick people
- Get rid of or stay away from irritants such as scented sprays and perfumes
- Drinking plenty of water and natural juices will help you to get rid of persistent cough allergies
- Always blow your nose than a sniffle. It will help you to get rid of stuffy nose dry cough allergies
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How Should I Take Dextromethorphan Guaifenesin And Pseudoephedrine
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Cough and cold medicine is usually taken only for a short time until your symptoms clear up.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Drink extra fluids to help loosen the congestion and lubricate your throat while you are taking this medication.
If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the surgeon or doctor ahead of time if you have taken this medicine within the past few days.
Do not take for longer than 7 days in a row. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, or if you have a fever with a headache or skin rash.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.
How To Take Antihistamines
Depending on your symptoms, you can take antihistamines:
- Every day, to help keep daily symptoms under control
- Only when you have symptoms
- Before being exposed to things that often cause your allergy symptoms, such as a pet or certain plants
For many people with allergies, symptoms are the worst around 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Taking an antihistamine at bedtime may help you or your child feel better in the morning during allergy season.
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Medications That Interact With Alcohol
There are hundreds of medications that interact with alcohol. Here is a short list of the most common prescription and OTC drugs that can pose a risk to your health if mixed with alcohol, as well as what can happen if the substances are combined.
It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive and may not include every medication you are taking. If you are not sure if you can safely drink alcohol while taking a certain medication, read the label carefully and consult with your pharmacist or doctor.
How Do I Know Which Antihistamine To Take
Because there are so many antihistamine products, both over-the-counter and prescription, and because they are used to treat so many different conditions, you may need help figuring out which medication to take. For minor ailments, you can probably take over-the-counter products. You can read the package labeling and match your symptoms to the labeled symptoms. Also, never hesitate to ask the pharmacist. They are highly schooled in the actions and effects and side effects of drugs. You may need to try different antihistamines to find the best medication to manage your symptoms.
If you need a prescription antihistamine, you and your healthcare provider will work together to figure out what medication will be best for you. Many drugs interact with antihistamines, so your healthcare provider will want to know what medical conditions you have and medications you are currently taking. They will also want to know if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Some antihistamines are not recommended in pregnancy because they may cause birth defects in very high doses. Antihistamines can pass into breast milk, so you should consult with your healthcare provider before using antihistamines if you are breastfeeding.
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Can I Take This Cold Medication With That One
Michael Menna, DO, is board-certified in emergency medicine. He is an attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York and also works at an urgent care center and a telemedicine company that provides care to patients across the country.
From fever to nasal congestion, body aches to sore throat, colds can come with several bothersome symptoms. Many reach for over-the-counter medications to ease themand some reach for more than one, especially if their cold symptoms are varied or severe. Some cold medications can be taken at the same time without issue, but other combinations can pose safety concerns.
Verywell / Theresa Chiechi
Whats The Difference Between First
Just like the name implies, the first generation antihistamine were the first type approved by the Food and Drug Administration . They began to be approved in the United States in the 1930s and are still prescribed today.
They work on histamine receptor in the brain and spinal cord along with other types of receptors. Most notable about this generation of antihistamines is that they cross the blood-brain barrier, which results in drowsiness.
Second-generation antihistamines were approved by the FDA and first came to market in the 1980s. The second-generation antihistamines do not cross the blood-brain barrier to the extent that first-generation do and therefore do not cause drowsiness at standard dosage levels. Second-generation antihistamines are considered to be safer than first generation antihistamines because they dont cause drowsiness and interact with fewer drugs.
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Cough And Cold Medicines
Mixing cannabis with common cough and cold medicines may increase the drowsiness and sedation associated with the over the counter drugs. Drugs that contain;dextromethorphan, which is a cough medicine, are sedative in their own right. When combined with cannabis, side effects can include increased dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and mental fog.
Dextromethorphan is found in drugs like NyQuil,;Robitussin, and Zicam.;Pheniramine, found in Thera-Flu and other flu medications can produce similar side effects.
A Multitude Of Cough Causes
While coughing exists to protect us from infections of the respiratory tract, it is commonly found with other conditions, too. We associate asthma with wheezing and difficulty breathing, but for many, its main symptom is a cough. Heartburn is the cardinal symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , but the stomach acid irritating the esophagus and the back of the throat can also produce a nasty cough.
Coughing is also a side effect of several drugs, most notably ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril and enalapril, which are mainstays in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. The ACE inhibitor cough sometimes begins months after you start taking the drug. Fortunately, there are good alternatives for those who have this problem.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , bacterial sinusitis, lung cancer all may announce their presence with a cough. And, of course, there’s the infamous smoker’s hack.
Several other conditions can also cause postnasal drip and its resulting cough, including sinusitis, exposure to air pollution, hay fever , and other allergies that cause nasal congestion.
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What Allergy Medicines Can I Take If I Have High Blood Pressure
Although some allergy medicines affect your blood pressure or interact with your blood pressure medication, safe options for treating your allergy symptoms exist if you have high blood pressure.
Second-generation antihistamines that are not combined with decongestants are generally safe to use if you are not taking the blood pressure medicines listed in the drug interaction section above. Second-generation antihistamines include the following:
If your symptoms include nasal congestion, the following options are generally safe to use as decongestants:
- steroid nasal sprays, such as Flonase , Nasacort , and Rhinocort
- antihistamine nasal sprays, such as Astelin and Patanase
- saline nasal sprays or rinses, such as Ayr, Ocean, Simply Saline, or Neti Pot
Antihistamine eye drops, such as Pataday and Zaditor , are safe options for itchy watery eyes.
How Do I Stop Sneezing From Allergies
Are you suffering from allergies, but have no idea how to stop sneezing? This is a common problem for many people, but it doesnt have to be. If youre allergic to certain things, there are natural ways to reduce the symptoms. You can use a natural, non-drug, allergy-fighting technique that has been used for thousands of years. Its pretty simple. Just take a few steps to get rid of allergy symptoms.
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Are Antihistamines Safe For Dogs
Diphenhydramine is a common medication used to treat allergies, hives, food allergies, anxiety and other conditions in dogs. However, you should consult your veterinarian about the use of diphenhydramine in your pet. The dosage in dogs is based on their weight plus your veterinarian will want to examine your dog to be sure an antihistamine is the correct drug for the correct diagnosis. If an antihistamine is needed, your veterinarian will want to prescribe a brand that is specific to animals and at a dosage correct for your pet.
It’s Easier Than You Think To Take Too Much Allergy And Cold Medicine Here’s Why
It’s a heck of a time when cold season overlap. If you happen to be one of the unfortunate souls in this sniffly Venn diagram from hell, you’d likely do anything to find relief. Fortunately, you won’t have to go much further than your medicine cabinet, but before you do, be sure to read this advice from Erica Patel, MD, of the University of Southern California, about whether it’s safe to take allergy meds and cold meds simultaneously.
Because symptoms are similar for colds and allergies, you don’t necessarily have to double down. “Many over-the-counter cough and cold medicines and allergy medicines may have similar ingredients,” Dr. Patel noted, including a pain and fever reducer, a decongestant , an antihistamine , and a cough reliever. But that means it’s also easy to overdo it.
“A good way to avoid overdosing on ingredients is to compare labels,” she told POPSUGAR. “For example, if one medication has acetaminophen as an ingredient, then avoid taking other medications with acetaminophen in them.” Common cold and allergy medication ingredients include:
- Pain relievers: acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- : phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, oxymetazoline
- Cough Suppressants: dextromethorphan, guaifenesin
- Antihistamines: diphenhydramine , loratadine , cetirizine , fexofenadine
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