Cold & Flu Prevention Center

How to Pick an Over-the-Counter Cold Remedy

When you have a cold, it can be hard to sort through the dizzying array of over-the-counter cold medications. Here’s a guide to cold medications for adults (not kids!).
sick-pharmacy

Credit: Getty Images

prev1 of 11

Common cold medications

by Ashlee Davis

When you have a cold, it can be hard to sort through the dizzying array of over-the-counter cold medications.

But many cold medications contain just a few types of drugs. The key is to check the list of ingredients and match the right drug to your symptoms.

“Assess what’s bothering you the most, and then target the medication that’s appropriate for the symptom,” says William J. Hueston, MD, professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. “Make sure you understand what the medicine is for before you buy it.”

Here’s a guide to over-the-counter cold medications for adults (not kids!).

Next: NSAIDs

Previous
Next
» View All

Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from Health.com!

More Ways to Connect with Health
Advertisement