Over-the-counter medicines won’t cure your cold, but they might make you feel better, so you can rest as it runs its course. Here’s a look at some common products and what they can do for you.
Decongestants can curb swelling inside your nose and sinuses, and help you breathe more easily. If you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant can be helpful.
Decongestants can make some people hyper or keep them awake.
They can also increase blood pressure and heart rate, and raise the chance of heart attacks and strokes. Pseudoephedrine is the primary oral decongestant available. In general, if your blood pressure is well-controlled with medications, a decongestant shouldn’t be a problem as long as you monitor your blood pressure. This may not be true with certain types of blood pressure drugs. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about what may be best for you.
Runny Nose, Watery Eyes, and Sneezing
When you have a cold, your body makes chemicals called histamines. That leads to sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes.
Over-the-counter antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine block this process and can relieve those symptoms. They can also make you sleepy and dry out your eyes, nose, and mouth. Antihistamines can make secretions thick, which can be a problem for people with asthma