Runny noses are annoying. It doesn’t matter if you are a kid in school, a grown-up at work, or an athlete trying to get a solid night’s rest before a game, a runny nose interferes with all that is good and right. Whether it’s running because you have a cold or because it’s allergy season, breathing, talking, playing, sleeping, eating and socializing can all become frustrating activities when the nose is not at peak performance.
There are runny noses that involve congestion and coughing. There are runny noses that involve throat drainage. There are runny noses that get worse at night when we’re lying down. So, clearly, choosing the best medicine for runny nose has a whole lot to do with why it’s running.
The most common causes of a runny nose are a cold or allergies, two very different types of conditions, but ones that result in many of the same symptoms. In our top 10 product guide we’ve made sure to include best medicine for runny nose and best cold medicine for runny nose to address each common cause.
Why Does it Run?
Our nasal tissues routinely produce mucus to keep our nasal passages moist and functioning well. In fact, along with the stomach and intestines which also produce mucus, they typically generate 1-2 quarts a day that not only moisten tissue but also help trap any bacteria or viruses before they get into our bloodstream and cause infection.
But when something like a cold virus or pollen breaks through the mucus barrier and irritates the nasal tissues excessively, mucus production goes into overdrive in an attempt to get rid of the intruder. The excess has to go somewhere – and the result is a “runny” nose.
At other times, the problem is not that we’re producing too much mucus, but that our body is not clearing it away like usual. Swallowing problems related to conditions like gastric reflux, for example, may cause a buildup of mucus in the throat that can only escape out the nose.
To help our noses get back to normal, we can first identify the irritant and escape it to prevent symptoms from worsening. If it’s pollen, spend as much time as possible indoors or wear a filtering mask when outside. If it’s smoke, move away from the person who is smoking. If your runny nose is accompanied by other cold symptoms, drink lots of liquids and get rest. After escaping the irritants, then we can use a variety of products that will reduce symptoms further.
Top 10 Medicines for Runny Nose Ultimate Table
Buying Information for Medicine for Runny Nose
While rare, a runny nose can sometimes be the result of more serious conditions like nasal polyps, a deviated septum, a lodged object, nasal passage blockage, medication allergies or even gastric reflux. If your runny nose becomes continuous, then you should see a physician who can properly diagnose the cause and begin effective treatment.
But when your runny nose is just a runny nose, the top 3 products we review below in detail – along with the other products in our top 10 guide – should give you some fast and effective relief.
Top 3 Best Medicine for Runny Nose 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 and flu, 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 cold and all the annoying symptoms that go along with it – including runny nose.
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. We do want to emphasize that this is a product that treats many symptoms so if your runny nose is the result of pollen or other irritants rather than the common cold, it is best to choose another one of the options in our top 10 designed specifically for allergies.
The number 2 product in our top 10 is specifically formulated to treat the symptoms that result from allergies, including runny nose. The Alavert brand is well-known among allergy sufferers who have a choice of several Alavert products but this item is a little different since it comes in a tablet that dissolves on your tongue. No water needed!
Instead of having to wait for more traditional medicines in pill form to kick in over the course of 20-30 minutes, this product takes effect almost immediately and has a pleasant, minty taste, making it a crowd favorite among parents since it can be used in children as young as six years old.
Aside from your runny nose, this Alavert product also gives 24-hour relief for allergy-related watery eyes, sneezing and itchy throat. Great for travel, the dissolving tablets come in individual, tear-apart packets that can be thrown in a purse, pocket or car.
Another top 3 product that treats runny noses caused by the common cold, Boiron Coldcalm 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.
Thought 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.