Take over-the-counter drugs to fight pain and fever caused by a regular viral infection.If you have a cold or the flu, chances are some of your symptoms include a fever and a headache.,
Consider a nasal spray.There are different types of nasal sprays on the market and its important to be able to distinguish between them.,
Opt for a cough syrup if you have severe symptoms.When considering an over-the-counter cough syrup, the main thing to look at is the list of ingredients.,
Seek professional medical care if you have a more severe virus.Certain viruses require professional medical care and treatment, in order to give you the best chance of a cure moving forward.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Advil) work to reduce the pain you feel. Acetaminophen also helps to bring your fever down. You can get these drugs at any pharmacy.
The regular, adult dose for Acetaminophen is 325-650 mg tablets, one tablet every four hours. Read the bottle to learn about other doses, such as those for children.The regular, adult dose for Ibuprofen is 400-600 mg, once every six hours until your symptoms ease up., Saline sprays are safe for all ages and can hydrate your nasal passages. There is evidence that using a saline spray may reduce nasal secretions and the use of decongestants.Nasal decongestants, such as Afrin, are only recommended if you have severe congestion problems, because using a nasal spray too often can cause your symptoms of congestion to rebound after you stop using the spray. They should be used no longer than three days in a row to avoid rebound, and should not be used on children.
Corticosteroid nasal sprays, such as Flonase, are generally used to treat chronic symptoms, as it may take several days before you notice any improvement. Still, they can sometimes be helpful in combatting the symptoms of a viral infection. Talk to your doctor, and do not use corticosteroid medication on children under four., In particular, look for the presence of decongestants, antihistamines, and/or pain relievers combined with the cough syrup on the ingredient list. The reason you want to be aware of this is so that you do not double up on your medications and accidentally overdose (for instance, if a pain killer is included in your cough syrup, you will not want to take an over-the-counter pain killer on top of that).
Over-the-counter preparations are safe in adults, as long as careful attention is paid to not accidentally double up on any of the ingredients with other medications.
Avoid using cough syrups in children under the age of two.
Examples of terms to watch for include antitussive, which is a cough suppressant; mucolytic, which breaks up and loosens mucus.
, Signs that you have a more severe illness and should see your doctor include:Developing a rash
A high fever generally more than 103°F (39.4°C)
Getting worse after starting to feel better
Prolonged symptoms for longer than 10 days
A cough that brings up colored phlegm
Wheezing or trouble breathing