Cold and flu medicines translated

It is that time of year again folks, time to pack away the summer clothes and bundle ourselves up against the Irish winter. Rain, sleet, snow, who knows what will come our way. By now I hope everyone has stocked up on vitamins and immune boosters; however if you are unfortunate enough to fall victim to the cold virus, it’s good to know what to reach for.

We’ve all been there, head feeling like it weighs 4 times more than it should, nose running like a tap, sneezing so bad it propels you backwards and a cough that feels like glass in your throat. You walk into the pharmacy and stare at a wall with a multitude of different brightly packaged products promising to make your pain go away. You lean in closer, trying to decipher the seemingly foreign languages on the box through streaming eyes. You’re thinking what does psuedoephedrine do that’s so special, and how do I even pronounce diphenhydramine? Well I would like to break this down for you a bit. Remember to always check with a member of staff if a medicine is suitable for you.

  • Most cold and flu medicines will contain either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, these are pain killers. They will help with that throbbing headache you have or any aches and pains, and they will also work to take down any fever you may be experiencing.
  • For those of you that suffer badly from blocked sinuses, Psuedoephedrine is a must which will clear that stuffy nose and help you breathe a bit better. It can keep you awake at night and so we wouldn’t recommend it in the evening.
  • Are you someone that suffers from a drippy nose and maybe your eyes are constantly streaming? It’s time to consider Diphenhydramine,this is used to relieve red, irritated, watery eyes; sneezing; and runny nose caused by allergies, or the common cold. It can also help relieve the symptoms of a cough. This one can make you very drowsy so caution is advised when taking it during the day.
  • Guaifenesin is used to treat a cough, it helps to lift any phlegm you may have in your chest.
  • Carbocysteine works in a similar way, it helps liquidise any phlegm lining your lungs making it easier to bring up when you cough. It helps to drink a lot of fluids when you have a chesty cough as this will dilute the mucus and make it easier to cough up.
  • In other cough mixtures you may see Dextromethorphan, this works in a different way to the previous two product in that it helps to suppress a cough. This is ideal for those dry tickly coughs.

Aside from some random odds and ends those are the main ingredients you will see in most cold and flu over the counter products. The trick is to pick the one that will cover most of your symptoms; however don’t forget there is always someone there to help you decide. So armed with this knowledge, a box of tissues, plenty of rest and copious amounts of vitamin C and water, the next run in you have with a cold or flu should be a walk in the park.

Remember to always check with a member of the LloydsPharmacy Team if a medicine is suitable for you.

Written by Robyn

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