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Cold & Flu Prevention Center

Stop a Cold in Its Tracks

over-the-counter

Credit: Getty Images

5 of 12

Within the first two hours

Head to the drugstore

Grab a pain reliever like acetaminophen to fight off achiness. Over-the-counter allergy meds, like Zyrtec and Benadryl, help with symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes; allergy meds that contain decongestants, like Claritin D or Alavert D, will help clear your sinuses and keep you alert, if you need to be, says Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, Jenkins/Pokempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Next: Skip the OTC cough medicine

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