Medical professionals keep telling us a head cold is common but when we have one, it feels like anything but. Despite the fact that they are treatable at home, usually last no more than 7 days, and are certainly not life-threatening, they make the millions of people each year who suffer from them feel miserable.
The common head cold is caused by any of several hundred different viruses that make us sick by infecting the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract. Our immune systems then send in the calvary of white blood cells which results in us feeling tired and miserable while our body works to fight off the virus.
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure. Viruses simply have to run their course and the treatments we have available only minimize symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and congestion.
But our Best Medicine for Head Cold guide will ensure you choose from among the very best symptom minimizers on the market!
What You Should Know
When you wake up coughing and sneezing and have that familiar achy, feverish feeling, how do you know for sure if you have a common head cold or if you have the flu? It is very important to know the difference so proper treatment can begin right away.
Colds seem to come on gradually over the course of a couple days and usually begin with a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose while the flu comes on quickly and may not involve a sore throat at all. Flu symptoms are much more severe than cold symptoms and include fever, headache, severe muscle aches and soreness and, at times, vomiting or diarrhea.
While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, the flu will often be fully debilitating and can last up to several weeks. So, first determine for sure that you have the common head cold, then reach for one of the products below and start feeling better fast.
Top 10 Medicines for Head Cold Table
Buying Information for Medicine for Head Cold
All the products in our Best Medicine for Head Cold top-10 list will effectively combat the symptoms of the common head cold, so choosing one really boils down to personal preference. While some of us like the simplicity of tablets or capsules, others prefer the products that come in liquid form or are dissolving tablets. Some want the best modern medicine has to offer while others want to take the all-natural approach.
But whichever you choose, remember that these medicines are for adults only. They should never be given to children without the approval of a physician or unless the product packaging explicitly states that they are safe for kids.
Some other important things to remember about the common head cold are:
- It is a complete myth that getting chilly and wet can cause you to catch a cold. They are caused by viruses not weather conditions.
- Adults can expect an average of 2 colds per year so keep your choice of medicine on hand.
- Cold symptoms usually go away in a week but will last much longer in people who smoke.
- You are contagious during the first 3 days that you have cold symptoms, so stay home and get rest if you can.
- Colds spread easily through handshakes, hugs, sharing drinks, kissing or airborne germs from coughs and sneezes.
- If cold symptoms don’t go away within 10 days, see your physician. You may have allergies, a sinus infection or other condition that will require stronger treatment methods.
Top 3 Best Medicine for Head Cold Reviews
When the good folks at Alka-Seltzer went from making fizzy medicine that made tummies feel better to making fizzy medicine that helped with colds, they hit it out of the park. The Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Cold & Flu product that is #1 on our list is the single highest rated product among consumers for the common head cold and all the annoying symptoms that go along with it.
The plop-plop, fizz-fizz tablets – used by dissolving them in a few ounces of cool water – contain acetaminophen for aches and pains, an antihistamine to stop the runny nose and a powerful cough suppressant. In addition, the other ingredients reduce fever and decrease congestion.
The tablets have a great citrus flavor and because they are, after all, an Alka-Seltzer product, any symptoms of nausea or upset stomach are helped too, all in 5-10 minutes.
Another top-rated product that treats all the symptoms caused by the common head cold is Boiron Coldcalm tablets. These tablets are homeopathic meaning they are all-natural with none of the side effects that sometimes accompany other cold or allergy products such as jitteriness or drowsiness.
Appropriate and safe for everyone ages 3 and up, these tablets are placed under the tongue every 15 minutes for the first hour of treatment, then continued every two hours for the duration of symptoms. This rather intense schedule is the one drawback cited by most consumers, but the majority of those preferring an all-natural product felt the benefits outweighed the slight inconvenience.
Though the tablets have no taste, they can be dissolved in a tablespoon or two of water to make dosing easier for children. Coldcalm works on a runny nose as well as on other cold symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion and sore throat, making it a great all around cold medicine.
Elderberries have been used for their healing properties for centuries and are now being given fresh attention for their medicinal benefits. Many physicians believe that elderberry extract like the kind found in this top-rated product can help ward off colds as well as diminish symptoms when we do get sick.
These tablets are also a homeopathic, all-natural medicine (meaning no preservatives and minimal processing) that works quickly and effectively on all cold symptoms. While some users noted they would prefer that the product not have sweetener added, they believed the tradeoff to be worth it. And the tablets are extremely small.
We recommend you begin dosing at the first signs of a cold but do not exceed dosing recommendations since elderberries do have a mild laxative effect.