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Ad Majorem Annae Gloriam

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Cold Season is here in full force

My mom has a bad cold, so before work I drove to the closest Walgreen's to get some meds for her. 

If you have a flu or a bad cold, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT:

- go to work - don't share your bug with everyone else.  Don't think your boss will be happy with you, if half the people end up not showing to work.

- take an antibiotic - my parents are part of the generation who think sulfanilamide and ampicillin are like candy, to be taken on all occasions.  WRONG.  They will not work for a viral infection, such as a flu or a cold, only a bacterial one.  And they are toxic enough for you not to want to take them unless necessary.  And irresponsible use of antibiotics causes multi-drug resistant infections to bloom.  I've seen more than enough of them, and if you cause one more brain-breaker, such as a vanco-resistant Staph I got once, I will come after you with a platefull of Pseudomonas.

     How do you know if that's a bacterial infection?  If you have a fever and nasal discharge is colored or thick and cloudy, it's likely you might have a bacterial infection.  If the sickness lasts more than seven days, it's likely to be a bacterial infection.  If your cold was almost gone and then you suddenly started feeling worse, it's usually a bacterial infection taking over.  If you think you have a bacterial infection, go see your doctor.

    Should you see a doctor if you think you have the flu? Depends on the severity of the symptoms.  Also, if the sick person is a child, elderly or immunocompromised, they should see a doctor.

    So, what should you DO if you have a cold?

 - first of all, wash your hands (which is also an excellent recomendation for prevention of the cold/flu and a million other diseases) to limit the spread of infection in your household

-  drink a lot of fluids - while it is especially important in children, who are prone to having diarrhea when they have a flue, it is a good recommendation for everyone, even if they are not sweating.  Among other things, you are far less likely to end up with unpleasant chest congestion if you drink a lot.  Avoid sugary beverages.  Juices, tea, mineral water are much better.

- Rest, and sleep as much as you can.  Sleep does mobilize your body's immune system, which is the only resource you have to defeat the cold.

- For nasal congestion and associated headache, one can take Sudafed (warnings: don't take in high blood pressure, and other conditions listed on the box; don't exceed recommended dosage unless you are excited to learn what arrythmia feels like; it can make some people excited/unable to sleep).  Alternative is a nasal spary.  Afrin works very well, but DO NOT exceed the recommended dosage and DO NOT use for more thana three days - it is addictive (it doesn't give a buzz, but it will eventually make your nose secrete so much mucus you won't be able to breathe without it).  Saline sprays/drops work fine for milder cases.

- For chest congestion, the only over the counter oral medication now available is Mucinex.   Works for some people better than others.  Alternatives include various rubs and ointments.

- For sore throat, variety of sprays and cough drops are available to soothe it.  Taking ibuprophen or aspirin (aspirin is not recommended for anyone younger than 19, though) helps too.

- For cough, any number of syrups in a variety of combination will work.  And there are tablets, too.

- For runny nose, any of the sprays will work, and antihistamines - from Benadryl to Claritin, work for a lot of people too.

  Just ask your friendly pharmacist to help you pick a combination that will work best for your very own bouquet of symptoms.

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(Deleted comment)
Yes, print it on a posterboard and thwack those people who insist on going to work while really sick or demand an antibiotic for a cold.

Impressive post Hellga! *adds post to Memories*
I miss Annevo's Illness Alphabet, so I'm happy to see a worthy replacement :D

- For nasal congestion and associated headache, one can take Sudafed

I always suffer from the headaches, and usually I take a lot of steam baths to get the fluids going (and not being stuck in my head). What is Sudafed? Will it work specifically when it comes to the headaches? If yes, what is the latin name of the stuff oh friendly pharmasist? :)

I used American common trade names for the medications. Drug which is the main component of Sudafed is pseudoephedrine. It is not a headache medication per se, it is a nasal decongestant. It will only help if your headache is due to sinus(es) being filled up with junk (the best, albeit painful, way to check is to press on the area between your eyebrows and/or on the bone right under the eyes. If it hurts, it's likely sinuses. Most people who have this problem know it without checking, though. It is available also in combination with acetaminophen (more commonly known as paracetamol in Europe). Acetaminophen is just plain painkiller.

could you tell there's a pharamcist at work here? ;o)


If I am wasting the best years of my life on memorizing pounds of medical literature, I'd better use it, right? :)

*hugs back*

I really should send this to my mother . . . *copies link* She insists on giving us antibiotics when we're sick, no matter what with, and no matter what I tell her.

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