It’s fall! This means a few things. Not only are the leaves changing color and nearly everything is flavored with pumpkin spice, but cold and flu season is also officially in full swing.
If you find that you’ve got an aching head, a runny nose, or a scratchy throat, you’re not alone. You’re going to need something to make you feel better, but the cold and flu aisle can be so intimidating. What are all these pills, syrups, and herbal elixirs? Which one will effectively alleviate your symptoms?
Before you grab the first thing you recognize from a TV commercial and end up feeling dissatisfied with the results or suffering from some undesirable side effects, it might be useful to draw on the expertise of a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist like Greg Castelli.
Today, we ask Greg, a real-life clinical pharmacist, which cold medicine is best. He shares his take on intranasal sprays, cough syrups, home remedies, and more. We also discuss whether or not brand-name drugs are better, what contraindications to look out for, and how to go about caring for your kids when they’ve got a case of the sniffles.
Hopefully, by the end of this episode, you’ll have a much better idea of which remedy to reach for the next time you’re feeling under the weather!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Letting your symptoms (and your pharmacist) lead you
- Nasal sprays and how to use them
- Brand names vs. generic drugs
- When you should and shouldn’t take Sudafed
- Antihistamines for nasal congestion
- Why you should only take the products that you need
- Your guide to cough medications
- The importance of managing your expectations of recovery
- Symptoms of cough medicine and DXM (dextromethorphan) abuse
- Common antipyretics used to treat fever and inflammation
- Recommendations for treating your kids when they are sick
- Home remedies: from honey to humidifiers
- Tips for topical treatments like Vicks VapoRub
- A look at the pros and cons of herbal remedies and vitamins
- How pregnant women can feel better without harming the baby
- Greg’s Halloween plans, weird questions he gets as a pharmacist, and more!
Connect with Greg Castelli, learn more about the Family Medicine Residency Program at St. Margaret’s, or watch the St. Margaret Files on YouTube.
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(Disclaimer: we will not answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional with any and all personal health questions.)
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