What are cold and cough medicines?

Many cold and cough medicines are available in pharmacies. These medicines do not cure your cold or cough, but are designed to ease your symptoms. The symptoms of a cold are runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Sometimes there may be a cough, either a dry, hacking cough or a wet cough with mucus or sputum.

This combination medicine is used for the temporary treatment of symptoms caused by colds, flu, allergies or other respiratory diseases (such as sinusitis, bronchitis). Decongestants help relieve nasal, sinus, and ear congestion symptoms. Acetaminophen is a non-aspirin analgesic and fever reducer. Cough and cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years old.

Adult cold tablets for children

Do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children under 6 years of age, unless specifically prescribed by a doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age.

Are adult cold pills harmful to children?
Do not use this medicine for children. Do not give other cough and cold medicines that may contain similar ingredients.

Characteristics of cold tablets for adults

Cold tablets for adults are a combination of acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine and phenylephrine. It has analgesic, antihistamine and vasoconstrictor effects. It helps to relieve colds, allergic complications of the upper respiratory system, allergic rhinitis, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache and fever.

Uses for adult colds

Reducing cold symptoms

The mechanism of action of an adult cold

Chlorpheniramine is a histamine inhibitor. It antagonizes the contraction of histamine on the respiratory muscles.
Acetaminophen inhibits the pain signal and prevents the production of prostaglandins.
Dextromethorphan reduces cough.
Phenylephrine is a vasoconstrictor and anticongestant.
Diphenhydramine is a histamine H1 receptor blocker.
Pseudoephedrine stimulates alpha-adrenergic receptors and causes lung expansion and vasoconstriction.
Guaiafensine increases the secretions of the respiratory tract.
Ibuprofen prevents the synthesis of prostaglandins.

Medication recommendations for adult colds

Do not take more than the recommended amount.
Avoid driving while taking medicine.
Avoid consuming alcohol with medicine.

The correct amount and way of taking cold pills

The best time to take cold tablets for adults is 1 to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours.

Take this medication orally with or without food, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed or as directed by your doctor.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a spoon at home because you will not get the right dose. If your liquid form is a suspension, shake the bottle well before each dose.

Dosage is based on age, medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or use it for longer than prescribed.

Tell your doctor if your condition lasts more than 1 week, if it gets worse, or if you have a headache that doesn’t go away, a rash, or a fever that lasts more than 3 days.

Caution in the use of adult colds

Allergy, asthma attacks, glaucoma, prostate hypertrophy, urethral obstruction and stenosing gastric ulcer, G6PD deficiency, severe liver failure.
Chlorpheniramine should not be used in children under 2 years of age.
Severe pain or high fever.

Side effects of an adult cold

Hypertension, tachycardia, severe peripheral and visceral vasoconstriction, dizziness, irritability, headache, restlessness, drowsiness, skin rash, increased appetite

Stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or nervousness may occur.

Tell your doctor if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/behavioral changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), fast/irregular heartbeat, problems urinating.

Allergic reaction to the drug is rare. However, see a doctor if you have signs of a serious allergic reaction, including: skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.



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