What is the common cold?
The common cold is a mild infection of your upper respiratory tract (which includes your nose and throat). Colds are probably the most common illness. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more. Colds are more common in the winter and spring, but you can get them at any time.What causes the common cold?
More than 200 different viruses can cause a cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common type. The viruses that cause colds are very contagious. They can spread from person to person through the air and close personal contact. You can also get infected when you touch something that has the virus on it and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose. For example, you could get a cold after you shake hands with someone who has a cold or touch a doorknob that has the germs on it, and then touch your face.What are the symptoms of the common cold?
The symptoms of a common cold usually include:
- Stuffy nose (congestion)
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
The symptoms usually start a few days after you become infected with the virus. Some symptoms can last for 10-14 days.What are the treatments for the common cold?
There is no cure for the common cold. But there are treatments that can make you feel better while you wait for the cold to go away on its own:
- Getting lots of rest.
- Drinking plenty of fluids.
- Using a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.
- Gargling with warm salt water.
- Using saline nose drops or sprays.
- Taking over-the-counter pain or cold and cough medicines. But you need to be careful with certain medicines:
- Children and teens should not take aspirin.
- Some cold and cough medicines contain ingredients that are not recommended for children. Talk with your child's health care provider before giving your child any cold and cough medicines.
- Some cold and cough medicines contain pain relievers. If you also take a separate pain reliever with these medicines, you could be getting a dangerous amount of the pain reliever. Read the labels on the medicines and follow the instructions carefully. If you have questions, ask your provider or a pharmacist.
Antibiotics will not help with a cold. Antibiotics help with bacterial infections, not with viral infections such as colds.
Most people who have a cold will feel better after a week or two. However, some people who get a cold may develop other illnesses, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. This is more common in people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. Contact your provider if you or your child have symptoms that concern you, such as:
- Trouble breathing or fast breathing
- Fever that lasts longer than 4 days
- Symptoms that last more than 10 days without improvement
- Symptoms, such as fever or cough, that improve but then return or worsen
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions
There is no vaccine to protect against the common cold. But you may be able to reduce your risk of getting or spreading a cold by:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoiding touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils, with others if you are sick or they are sick.
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that you frequently touch.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Then throw away the tissue and wash your hands.
- Staying home when sick.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Cold FDA Approved Drugs
- Treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) in adults.
Contract PharmacalApr 8, 2002
Dr Reddys Labs LtdAug 14, 2006
Dr Reddys Labs IncSep 27, 2006
- Combination product for the early treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) to reduce the likelihood of ulcerative cold sores and to shorten the lesion healing time in adults and children (6 years of age and older).
- New combination product for the early treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) to reduce the likelihood of ulcerative cold sores and to shorten the lesion healing time in adults and adolescents (12 years of age and older).
Home Remedies for Cold
Squeeze half a lemon into a cup. Add hot water into cup. Add a teaspoon of raw organic honey. Drink 2 to 3 cups per day to reduce the severity of a cold.Jose3124 | November 4th, 2017
Stand in a hot shower for 20 seconds, then switch to cold for 10 seconds. Repeat the cycle 3 times. End the shower on a cold cycle.Nancy | November 4th, 2017
Garlic has been used for colds, bronchial problems, coughs and fevers throughout history. It is a blood thinner and lowers cholesterol.
In a blender, chop 3 garlic cloves ......teep contents in a cup with boiling water for 5 minutes.
Strain solids, leaving the liquid.
Add a little honey to the liquid.
For colds: Prepare and drink garlic tea 3 times a day.
During epidemics/pandemics: Drink 1 time per day.
This may just be what we need to help preve...NathanielHawthorne | August 13th, 2020
Felter's Materia Medica on Cold
The bark and prepared resinous exudate of Tsuga canadensis, Carriére (Abies canadensis, Michaux; Pinus canadensis, Linné). (Nat. Ord.... / ...ness, and pale and relaxed mucosa; broncho-pulmonic irritation, with profuse secretions; coughs and colds; pyrosis with gastric irritation, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Contraindicated in inflammations. T... / ...be used where there is excessive secretion of mucus and the cough is largely precipitated by a feeble and relaxed state of the uvula and fauces. 2
The dried gummy exudate of Acacia Senegal, Willdenow; and of some other African species of Acacia. (Nat. Ord. Leguminosae.) Eastern Africa... / ...d inflamed membranes, and for this purpose is frequently used in medicinal preparations for coughs, colds, hoarseness, pharyngitis, gastric irritation and inflammation, diarrhea, dysentery, ardor urin... / ...by irritant and corrosive poisons. Acacia may be given freely and at pleasure, in the form of owder, troches, mucilage, or syrup, as desired. 2
... to the nasal and ocular membranes, and when inhaled may give rise to a peculiar local sense of icy-coldness. Administered internally in small doses aconite occasions a tingling or prickling sensation......ly rapid. Tingling and numbness increase and are felt all over the body, the thrilling and creeping coldness approaching from the extremities to the body. Excessive sweating comes on, rapidly lowering...2
The bulb of Allium sativum, Linné (Nat. Ord. Liliaceae). Sicily, Asia Minor, and Central Asia; cultivated also in the United States and Europe.... / ...c. The juice or the syrup (made by covering bruised garlic with sugar) is often effectual in common colds, especially when tending to become chronic or frequently repeated. It should not be used when ...2
The decorticated dried root of Althaea officinalis, Linné (Nat. Ord. Malvaceae), a plant of salt marshes, river banks, and moist, sandy soils.... / ...itis, strangury and gravel. If the mucilage chiefly is desired, an infusion should be prepared with cold water; if starch, with some mucilage is needed, a decoction. It may be given freely. A syrup of...2
The leaves and bark of the twigs of Amygdalus Persica, Linné (Nat. Ord. Rosaceae). Native to Persia. Cultivated everywhere. Common Name: Peach... / ...usion of Amygdalus. Prepared by saturating the freshly scraped inner bark of the twigs (1 ounce) in cold water (16 ounces). It must not be boiled. Dose, 1 fluidrachm to I fluidounce. 2. Specific Medic... / ...It is of less value for cough than wild cherry or hydrocyanic acid. For the latter the infusion or the specific medicine may be used. 2
The fecula or starch of the seed of Zea Mays, Linné (Nat. Ord. Gramineae). (Formula: C6 H10 05). Common Name: Corn... / ...r a fine, white powder; inodorous, with a slight but characteristic taste. Insoluble in alcohol and cold water. When boiled with 15 parts of water and cooled, it yields a whitish, translucent jelly (s... / ...Diluted starch paste may be used as a lenitive after other forms of irritant poisoning, and as a mucilage for the administration of medicines. 2
...usion of Anthemis; (Anthemis, 1/2 ounce; Water, 16 ounces). Dose, 1 to 4 fluidounces. Therapy.The cold infusion is reputed stomachic; the hot infusion diaphoretic (1 to 2 fluidounces), and emetic (5......fusion diaphoretic (1 to 2 fluidounces), and emetic (5 to 12 fluidounces); the oil carminative. The cold infusion may be used in gastric debility, with flatus; the hot infusion to relieve colds due to...2
Rose Water. Stronger Rose Water mixed with an equal part of distilled water, immediately before dispensing. Description.A clear aqueous... / ...ua Rosae Fortior) is an ingredient of Ointment of Rose Water (Unguentum, Aquae Rosæ), or so-called Cold Cream. Equal parts of Rose Water and Glycerin is a favorite perfumed lotion for chapped hands, ...2
The dried flower-heads of Arnica montana, Linné (Nat. Ord. Compositae). A perennial of Siberia and the cooler parts of Europe; also found in... / ... diarrhoea and dropsy, but no inflammation. During mild forms of so-called chronic rheumatism, with cold skin and general debility it will stimulate the nervous system, restore normal warmth, re-estab...2
...imulating carminative, diaphoretic and emmenagogue, of considerable value in amenorrhea from recent colds, in atonic dysmenorrhea, and in flatulent colic. A warm infusion is a very good diaphoretic wi......rhea, and in flatulent colic. A warm infusion is a very good diaphoretic with which to break up a cold. Asarum may be added to cough mixtures, and with syrup forms a very agreeable vehicle for the...2
...by the bronchial arteries; inflammation of serous tissues; gastro-intestinal catarrhs due to recent colds. Action.The physiological action of asclepias is not extensive, but important. Asclepias slo......occurs, it is due to bundling with bed-clothing, or the too copious administration of either hot or cold water with. it. Given in alcoholic preparations, in the usual small doses, it merely favors the...2
The rhizome of Dryopteris Filix-mas and of Dryopteris marginalis, Asa Gray (Nat. Ord. Filices). World-wide ferns of the Northern Hemispheres.... / ...urging, severe abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, muscular prostration, tremors, cramps, dyspnea, cold perspiration, cyanosis, collapse, and death. In some cases amblyopia results, and permanent vis...2
...d meat washings; face swollen, bluish, and resembling one having been frozen or long exposed to cold; typhoid conditions. Action.Large doses of baptisia may provoke dangerous emetocatharsis, som...... bluish, swollen appearance, with expressionless countenance, like one who has been long exposed to cold. There may be ulcers of an indolent character, with bluish or purplish edges. The excretions ar...2
The (1) dried root and the (2) dried leaves and tops of Atropa Belladonna, Linné (Nat. Ord. Solanaceae). Europe and Central Asia; also... / ...the whitish streak so produced; circulation sluggish, with soft, oppressed, and compressible pulse; cold extremities; breathing slow, labored, and imperfect; hebetude; the patient sleeps with eyes par...2
Physician's Materia Medica on Cold
The seed of PRUNUs AMYGDALUs, Baill; The bitter variety is powerfully sedative by reason of the hydrocyanic acid (q. v.) and volatile oil which it potentially contains. The volatile oil is .used as a flavoring agent, and medicinally as a sedative in cough mixtures, but is of very uncertain composition. It is prescribed in doses of 0.015 to 0.06 c. c. (% to 1 IW,. The fixed oil is emollient and is the princi pal constituent of cold cream.3
Action resembles that of alcohol, but more transient; cardiac stimulant, general anesthetic. relaxant. Most commonly given by inhalation. A spray is sometimes used to produce local anesthesia by cold. Dose, 2 to 8 c. c. (30 Ill to 2 fluidrachms) or more.3
Bitter principle obtained from various species of SALIX and PoPULUs. Bitter tonic, antiseptic, antipyretic. Used to abort an incipient cold, in influenza and hay asthma, in neuralgia and as a substitute for salicylic acid in rheumatism. It sometimes cures obstinate diarrheas, and is a useful succedaneum for quinine where that remedy is not well borne. Dose. 0.6 to 2.0 Grm. (10 to 30 grs.), every one, two or four hours.3
Physician's Therapeutics Memoranda on Cold
When due to anemia and debility, combinations of aloes with iron, In an otherwise healthy... / ...y; black cohosh; manganese dioxide (or potassium permanganate), taken for at least two weeks beiore the regular time for menstruation. When due to “cold,” the sitz bath and hot infusions of pennyroyal or similar herbs; quinine with aloes or rhubarb. Cotton-root bark, ergot and similar agents are...3
Medicate no more than is necessary. Prescribe regular open air exercise, regularity in going to... / ...ics. The laxatives best suited for habitual use are; 1, glycerin sup positories, when there is simply inertia of the rectum; 2, senna (particularly a cold infusion, or the oflicial compound liquorice pow der) or cascara sagrada (fluid extract aromatic or jellules); 3, com binations of aloin, bellado...3
In severe cases, surgical measures must be resorted to (plugging anterior and posterior nares). Styptic... / ...uid extract ergot, anti pyrin, extract suprarenal capsule or internally fluid extract ergot). The hot foot bath to draw the blood away from the head, cold wa ter to nape of neck, raising the hands high above the head, pressure on the facial artery are all measures to be borne in mind.3
The remedies commonly resorted to include; 1st cardiac or ar terial sedatives, particularly... / ...e, 2d antipyretics causing reduc tion of temperature, to be used always with due caution and wholly avoided in typhoid conditions, 3d applications of cold water which constitute a measure almost always serviceable, 4th sedatives and anodynes, which may well be combined with diaphoretics. These sever...3
At the outset give aconite as arterial sedative (not if patient is exsanguinated). Later apply Esmarch bandages to limbs. Cold to serotum or vulva. Gallic acid and fluid extract ergot are often pre scribed but are of doubtful value. In favorable cases use a fine spray of epinephrine hydrochloride.3
Give fluid extract ergot in drachm doses and cause uterus to contract by mechanical stimulation as by introducing the hand into the cavity or byuinjections of cold and hot water.3
Follow general treatment for Fevers, q. v., prescribing for symp toms as they arise. Do not use cold water as an antipyretic.3
In acute stage eontrol arterial excitement with veratrum or aconite, prescribing also calomel and opium for antiphlogistic and calmative effect. Apply cold to head and leeches to nape of neck. Later control nervous irritability with chloral and bromides and sustain strength by nourishing food with alcohol if indicated.3
Special care must be taken to avoid exposure to cold. Alcohol must be interdicted and the diet must be carefully regulated so as to throw as little burden as possible on the kidneys. Albumin may often be diminished by nitro-glycerine, sometimes by cantharides. As diuretics, digitalis, squill and calomel, digitalis and caffeine or juniper berries and potassium bitartrate have their uses.3
Only at the very outset are arterial sedatives useful, veratrum being best. When consolidation has... / Only at the very outset are arterial sedatives useful, veratrum being best. When consolidation has begun, pyrexia is to be combat ed by cold sponging, while the action of the heart is reinforced if necessary by digitalis and alcoholic stimulants. Elixir Digitalin Compound, N., B. & Co.... / ...chloride being the most important, to be combined sometimes with the more stimulant am monium carbonate.3
... diuretic refrigerants. potassium citrate with spirit nitrous ether, vichy water or Ze-an, N., B. & Co., with potassium acetate. For the sore throat, cold applica tions externally; gargles of Alkal-Antiseptine, N., B. & Co., or car bolic acid and borax; vapors charged with eucalyptol. For the itch i......ontaining a little carbolic acid, menthol or salicylic acid. Avoid anything likely to cause renal irri tation; particularly guard against exposure to cold during convales cence.3
Distinguished between thermic fever, with high temperature and laboring heart, and heat exhaustion, with surface cool and circulation depressed. In the former case apply cold to surface, watching the effect, and using friction to draw blood to the surface. Bleeding may do good, but antipyretic remedies are of no use. In heat ex haustion apply heat to the surface.3
Medication except to meet special indications is probably useless, although the Woodbridge... / ... and easily digested. Alcoholic stimulants must be used to maintain strength, but not to the point of producing ex citement, circulatory or cerebral. Cold sponging or cold baths serve to reduce temperature. Danger of perforation must always be borne in mind, and will govern choice of remedies for co...3
2) Felter, Harvey Wickes, 1922, The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Cincinnati, Ohio.
3) Nelson, Baker & Co., 1904, Physician's Handy Book of Materia Medica and Therapeustics, Detroit, Michigan.