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  #1  
Old 01-11-2015, 07:15 PM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
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Non Woo Cold Treatment?

Is there anything non-woo to treat a sore throat? A hacking cough? Excess tiredness? My daughters and I are kind of miserable despite multiple infusions of homemade soup and endless lozenges. My eldest has a swollen sore lip that we're treating with neosporin. I'm hacking up a lung.

Have I ever shared how much I hate winter? Once December leaves all you have left are days that end at 5:30 and snow that looks pretty for about half an hour until people and cars turn it to grey, wet mush.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2015, 07:22 PM
susan susan is offline
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Keep drinking water, and try swishing salt water in your mouth/doing nasal lavage to heal mouth an nose tissues. Inhale steam, perhaps with a couple of drops of mint or eucalyptus oil. Sorry!
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:44 PM
Iggy Iggy is offline
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Honey for that sore throat. Really. It may help with the cough too.

And a decent OTC cough medication with medications tailored to your symptoms can relieve that hacking cough. I like the Dextromethorphan in timed released formulation sold as Delsym. Walmart sells their version unde the Equate brand at a third the price.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:00 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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stay warm
  #5  
Old 01-11-2015, 10:01 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Abreva for the lip sore. Guaifenesin with copious amounts of iced water, hot tea [herbal or not, I like ginger peppermint with honey] hot lemonaide and chicken soup [or veggie version if you are noncarnivore.] Neti pot with neutral saline for the sinuses.

Put a huge pot of water on the stove to get some moisture in the air. Helps the sinuses and lungs.

Abreva because the cold sore on the lip is a herpeform virus. Guaifenesin and copious liquids to thin out the mucous so it sorts itself out the way it is supposed to. Neti pot to sooth the sinus membranes, same for the moisture in the air.
  #6  
Old 01-11-2015, 10:29 PM
FeAudrey FeAudrey is offline
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Hot baths (elevated temperature has been said to disrupt virus reproduction).

Lots of fluids (dilutes and washes out all sorts of stuff).

Cleanse skin of nose and upper lip with plain warm water to rinse away mucus (less chapping).

Progressive relaxation exercises (you tend to tense up unconciously when uncomfortable, which makes you more so).
  #7  
Old 01-11-2015, 10:42 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Salt water nasal rinse with a neti pot or equivalent (I use a kit from NeilMed with pre measured salt packets). This will clean out the sinus and help lessen the the dip down your throat which work on the sore throat.
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2015, 11:52 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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Another vote for neti pot/nasal washing (I most recently bought a kit from Walgreens for $10.00 - squeeze bottle, 100 packets of salt, do it in your daily shower for maximum efficiency and least grossness.) I don't get colds but am bothered by seasonal allergies and swear by regular nasal rinsing. Drastically reduces both congestion and the resulting cough and sore throat from post-nasal drip.
  #9  
Old 01-12-2015, 12:35 AM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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My dad used to make me tea with amarhetto. It has the added advantage of helping you sleep.

Hot showers help too. Also, remember to keep WASHING YOUR HANDS. I can't stress that enough. It may sound paranoid, but I also keep hand sanitizer with me, so I don't have to run to the bathroom every time I blow my nose. Ibuprofen can help the headaches as well.

My sympathies. I have a cold right now too and it sucks donkey balls.
  #10  
Old 01-12-2015, 01:23 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is online now
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Chocolate (specifically, theobromine) is the only cough suppressant that I've found on the Wikpedia listed as being able to perform better than a placebo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine#Humans

Odd, yet seemingly true.
  #11  
Old 01-12-2015, 05:16 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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Theobromine helps, but chocolate slimes up the throat.

Cutting out (non-frozen) dairy in general may help some people to lessen that mucus feeling in the throat.

Zinc lozenges and tablets help shorten colds by about a day.

And I'm thirding (fourthing?) nasal lavage/neti-pot. Takes some getting used to but really good.

Last edited by Maastricht; 01-12-2015 at 05:17 AM.
  #12  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:10 AM
vomit_comet vomit_comet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeAudrey View Post
Hot baths (elevated temperature has been said to disrupt virus reproduction).

).
Even cancer can be cured by hot baths, saunas. Diseases cannot tolerate high temperature, that is why you get a fever when you are sick, your body is elevating temperature to kill the disease.

Diseases love sugar, so, I'd recommend eliminating sugar first... that includes wheat flour, gluten and starch too.

Last edited by vomit_comet; 01-12-2015 at 06:13 AM.
  #13  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:21 AM
jimbuff314 jimbuff314 is offline
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ARGHHH!!

Hair pulling! Head banging! Screaming, cursing!

(Calm, Jim, calm. Something soothing ...)

Good morning, starshine. The Earth says hello.
You twinkle up above, we twinkle below.


(Ahhh. That's better, much better.)

<Looks at previous post again.>

ARGHHHH!!!
  #14  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:38 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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And here comes the woo....

Quote:
Originally Posted by vomit_comet View Post
Even cancer can be cured by hot baths, saunas. Diseases cannot tolerate high temperature, that is why you get a fever when you are sick, your body is elevating temperature to kill the disease.

Diseases love sugar, so, I'd recommend eliminating sugar first... that includes wheat flour, gluten and starch too.
If just elevating temperature cured everything we wouldn't die of disease anymore.

And get off the "wheat/gluten is poison" bandwagon already.
  #15  
Old 01-12-2015, 06:46 AM
jimbuff314 jimbuff314 is offline
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Thanks, Broomstick. I had a really bad reaction to that post. Must have had some cold, sugared gluten.

<My hair hurts.>
  #16  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:12 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Gargling salt water helps a sort throat. Helps it feel better and also helps it get better.

The Neti pot only seems to work for me if the congestion is on its way to loosening up. If I'm really blocked up the water can't get through at all, and does nothing. But when its doing its thing it's an amazing, disgusting process.

Last edited by Hello Again; 01-12-2015 at 08:12 AM.
  #17  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:17 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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In case it needs to be said, a sore throat can be bacterial (eg. strep), in which case antibiotics would certainly help, but not if all you have is a genuine cold or flu.
  #18  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:20 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
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The Panacea cocktail is said to work wonders.
  #19  
Old 01-13-2015, 07:54 AM
JoshuaSD JoshuaSD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vomit_comet View Post
Even cancer can be cured by hot baths, saunas. Diseases cannot tolerate high temperature, that is why you get a fever when you are sick, your body is elevating temperature to kill the disease.

Diseases love sugar, so, I'd recommend eliminating sugar first... that includes wheat flour, gluten and starch too.

I get a fever when I'm sick with CANCER?!?
Cancer is NOT a virus or bacteria, heat will not kill cancer! AAARRRGGG!
(OK I admit that if enough heat is applied maybe… but then immolation is probably not a reasonable cure for cancer. )

But please keep the gluten free fad going. My wife has a real, doctor diagnosed allergy to wheat that has been so difficult for her all her life. Due to the recent gluten free fads she now has a huge number of new food options popping up.

Thanks for expanding her food options so much!
  #20  
Old 01-13-2015, 08:29 AM
JoshuaSD JoshuaSD is offline
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heat will not kill cancer!
I stand partially but not significantly corrected.
The Master has spoken on this very question.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...at-cure-cancer
  #21  
Old 01-13-2015, 09:23 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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It's too late for the OP now, but I really think those nasal sprays (the ones you're supposed to take on early onset of a cold to prevent it progressing) actually work.
Years ago if my nostrils were sore and my throat was dry...I knew within 12 hours or so I'd have a full-blown cold. Now I feel I can stop it going further at least half of the time.
  #22  
Old 01-13-2015, 09:42 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Quoth vomit_comet:

Even cancer can be cured by hot baths, saunas. Diseases cannot tolerate high temperature, that is why you get a fever when you are sick, your body is elevating temperature to kill the disease.

Diseases love sugar, so, I'd recommend eliminating sugar first... that includes wheat flour, gluten and starch too.
This is probably futile, but just to put this in perspective, both of those statements are also true of healthy human bodies, or indeed of anything else biological. Sufficiently-high temperatures will kill any living thing, and all living things love sugar and will die if completely deprived of it. There are, occasionally, some cases where a disease is slightly more vulnerable to high temperature than the host body is, and in those cases, a fever will help, but much more often, the temperature needed to kill the disease will also kill the host.

Oh, and just for the sake of completeness, while starches are made up of sugar, and flour contains a lot of starch, gluten is a protein, and contains zero sugar whatsoever. It's a completely different sort of compound.
  #23  
Old 01-13-2015, 12:53 PM
JoshuaSD JoshuaSD is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
It's too late for the OP now,
Good point I was guilty of straying from the OP.
Getting the OP back on track.

Sleep.
Seriously sleep has been my main weapon for cold fighting for all my life. Its all too easy to do a little “stop gap” medication that covers or temporarily relieves. This allows us to keep moving and go to work, school, the grocery, the mall and such but in the end is not serving us well or any of the others we came in contact with in all those places.

Its not the cure all of course and is no substitute for medication when needed but sleeping off a regular cold rather than covering the symptoms and pushing on is often the best medicine. IMHO.
  #24  
Old 01-13-2015, 01:07 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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much more often, the temperature needed to kill the disease will also kill the host.
Omelette, eggs, etc.
  #25  
Old 01-13-2015, 03:52 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
Abreva for the lip sore. Guaifenesin with copious amounts of iced water, hot tea [herbal or not, I like ginger peppermint with honey] hot lemonaide and chicken soup [or veggie version if you are noncarnivore.] Neti pot with neutral saline for the sinuses.

Put a huge pot of water on the stove to get some moisture in the air. Helps the sinuses and lungs.

Abreva because the cold sore on the lip is a herpeform virus. Guaifenesin and copious liquids to thin out the mucous so it sorts itself out the way it is supposed to. Neti pot to sooth the sinus membranes, same for the moisture in the air.
I use OTC hydrocortisone (1%). Antiviral prescription is possible. There is one that is effective for cold sores (the name eludes me just now), but I find hydrocortisone just as effective. Another OTC is Curasore, which I once used, but switched back to hydrocortisone.
  #26  
Old 01-13-2015, 04:09 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Zovirax: http://www.rxlist.com/zovirax-drug.htm

Curasore conains ether, but it is listed as an inactive ingredient. (?)
  #27  
Old 01-13-2015, 04:48 PM
No umlaut for U No umlaut for U is offline
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Opal (holy) basil tea really helps the throat pain. (Taiwanese remedy) I suspect it's loaded with eugenol and menthol.
  #28  
Old 01-13-2015, 06:23 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I use OTC hydrocortisone (1%). Antiviral prescription is possible. There is one that is effective for cold sores (the name eludes me just now), but I find hydrocortisone just as effective. Another OTC is Curasore, which I once used, but switched back to hydrocortisone.
Abreva is the brand name for the anti-cold sore OTC medication. The active ingredient is docosanol, which impairs the replication of the virus.

Having tried it... it's not the cheapest thing (the effective stuff never seems to be). However, it pretty much immediately removed some of itching/hurting/burning and the intensity of and duration of my most recent episode of cold sores was less than usual.
  #29  
Old 01-13-2015, 06:28 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Darn, missed the edit window -

The problem with hydrocortisone is that while it does reduce inflammation and make you feel better it does nothing to the virus so your outbreak will last just as long. Also, hydrocortisone, being a steroid, does suppresss the immune system. Granted, OTC 1% won't do that by much, but it may make a secondary infection more likely.

If you're healthy likely not an issue and relief of symptoms can be important. YMMV.
  #30  
Old 01-13-2015, 07:07 PM
AnaMen AnaMen is offline
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DayQuil is pretty effective against congestion, sore throat, and tiredness. Don't take it in the evening, as it may keep you awake.
I hate NyQuil though. I imagine it making me so groggy I smother myself with snot in my sleep.
  #31  
Old 01-13-2015, 07:38 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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For me neti pots have always backfired and made whatever sinus infections I had worse. So I avoid them.

As for the sore throat cepacol spray works well for me, much better than lozenges.
  #32  
Old 01-13-2015, 08:28 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Am I the only one who thought vomit_comet's response was a sarcastic refutation that heat would help? It was specifically because of type of stuff they said that the idea of using heat pinged my woo meter.

I do know one way of keeping warm, covering up and letting your fever keep you even warmer, is not recommended.

Last edited by BigT; 01-13-2015 at 08:29 PM.
  #33  
Old 01-14-2015, 02:45 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Abreva is the brand name for the anti-cold sore OTC medication. The active ingredient is docosanol, which impairs the replication of the virus.

Having tried it... it's not the cheapest thing (the effective stuff never seems to be). However, it pretty much immediately removed some of itching/hurting/burning and the intensity of and duration of my most recent episode of cold sores was less than usual.
Hydrocortisone costs $1.00 at Dollar Tree and not much more at Wal-Mart. I find it quite effective. I thought Curasore's effective agency was the ether because Consumers Report once reported on ether's ability to kill viruses. A search indicates that it is pramoxine: http://www.drugs.com/mtm/curasore.html When I first started using it the cost was $2.00 The last time I bought it the cost was several dollars more, and the link states it does not kill the virus. I found both hydrocortisone and Curasore as effective as Zovirax, which my dentist once prescribed (as a favor). So I question your statement that cheap stuff are not effective. Hydrocortisone works great and that small amount of 1% solution applied topically will not interfere with your immune system. I did read once, in a large and old medical tome that hydrocortisone was contraindicated, probably for that reason, but at 1% should be no problem. I quit using Curasore primarily because it dried out the sore too much, but also because hydrocortisone is cheaper.

A few years ago I volunteered for a clinical study of a new treatment for cold sores. The treatment could have been something entirely new or a combination of hydrocortisone and another ingredient or Curasore and another ingredient (I forgot the other ingredient). I could have been given a placebo, but it was as effective as Curasore or hydrocortisone. What I actually took has not as yet been disclosed to me.
  #34  
Old 01-14-2015, 04:38 PM
trapezoidal jellyfish trapezoidal jellyfish is offline
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This may or may not be woo, and it is entirely anecdotal, but I find that it helps to mix garlic salt in warm water and gargle. Gargling with salt water has been mentioned already, but I find that the garlic makes it a bit more effective. I'm not making any guarantees about the taste, though.

Another thing you could try is heating some milk with turmeric and black pepper. An Indian acquaintance recommended it to me once. I am most definitely not a scientist, but the explanation here sounds plausible to me. I tried it once. It didn't taste as bad as I expected, and it did seem to help. I don't know if it helped more than any other hot beverage would have, but it's an idea.
  #35  
Old 01-15-2015, 02:39 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Your link, Broomstick, to Wikipedia concerning docosanol states that "more recently" the FDA approved this for cold sores, which leads me to believe that Abreva might have been the new medicine used in the clinical trial that I participated in. Unfortunately, the medicines used were never revealed to me.
  #36  
Old 01-15-2015, 06:47 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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It may well be - I've only seen it on sale recently, and my store has had a little trouble keeping up with demand.

It does seem to work as advertised. It's not an instant cure, but if you start using it ASAP it does mitigate the outbreak. It'd like you halt the cold sore at the point you start using it (so it doesn't get larger/worse), it hangs around for a few days, then heals up. Less swelling, redness, pain, spreading of blisters....
  #37  
Old 01-15-2015, 06:53 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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This topic morphed.
Cold sores have nothing to do with the common cold or congestion.
  #38  
Old 01-15-2015, 08:08 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Well... cold sores can crop up due to lowered immune response and/or while you're sick with something else, so there is a sort of correlation there although it's not a strict cause and effect thing.
  #39  
Old 01-15-2015, 09:10 PM
LavenderBlue LavenderBlue is offline
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Fluids, honey, dissolved aspirin have helped as have hot baths. The problem is that kids are adorable, charming, delightful . . . massive germ factories. Thank you for the suggestions.
  #40  
Old 01-15-2015, 09:43 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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This isn't a cold treatment, but after a cold I usually get bronchitis. I read that 600-800mg of cimetidine can boost the immune system (it takes a few days to take effect) so I take that at the first sign of a cold. It doesn't do anything for the cold but I don't get bronchitis after the cold nearly as often. I start taking it at the first sign of a cold and stop about a week after I recover.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2657245

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-15-2015 at 09:44 PM.
  #41  
Old 01-15-2015, 10:58 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Rest and plenty of liquids. Steam through the nasal and throat passages. Salt water through the nasal cavity. Zinc lozenges in moderation. More rest.
  #42  
Old 01-16-2015, 12:36 AM
Crazier Catlady Crazier Catlady is offline
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I saw a documentary once where Alan Alda visited several doctors (mostly researchers) to ask what could be done about a cold. The conclusion was that pretty much all that could be done came down to alleviating symptoms. As they put it: if you treat the cold it'll be over in seven days, if you don't, it'll last a whole week.

In other words, do whatever makes you feel better while the cold lasts (and I second the recommendations for rest and handwashing) but don't hold out any hopes for getting rid of it any sooner.
  #43  
Old 01-16-2015, 11:47 AM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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It may well be - I've only seen it on sale recently, and my store has had a little trouble keeping up with demand.

It does seem to work as advertised. It's not an instant cure, but if you start using it ASAP it does mitigate the outbreak. It'd like you halt the cold sore at the point you start using it (so it doesn't get larger/worse), it hangs around for a few days, then heals up. Less swelling, redness, pain, spreading of blisters....
That is the way hydrocortisone, Curasore, and Zovirax work. Thus it does not seem to be more effective than those treatments. Abreva and Zovirax are by prescription and thus expensive. Hydrocortisone costs $1 at Dollar Tree (everything at Dollar Tree is $1 or less). So I will stick with hydrocortisone.
  #44  
Old 01-16-2015, 05:56 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Abreva is NOT prescription, it's OTC.

Since I've already been on various steroids over the years (and hydrocortisone is a steroid) and also frequently use hydrocortisone for other skin conditions I have concerns about using too much overall. Having had some serious skin infections I prefer to be cautious in its use.

As I said - hydrocortisone reduces the inflammation, it in no way reduces viral reproduction or length of active cold sores. Sure, less inflammation is a good thing. However, Abreca reduces viral replication and slightly shortens to overall course of the event.

Curasore's active ingredient is an anesthetic. Again, it makes you feel better, and that's a good thing, but it will do nothing for inflammation or viral reproduction.

Had a cold sore two days ago. Used Abreva right away and as of today the blisters/sores are completely gone and it's well on its way to being healed. My lip never swelled up and after the initial application no pain or itching. The affected spot remained very small. YMMV but I'm a believer in Abreva now.

If you want to continue to use hydrocortisone and you're happy with it that's fantastic, go for it. Other people besides just you are reading this, though, and I want them to have some notion of the alternatives.
  #45  
Old 01-17-2015, 02:02 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
Abreva is NOT prescription, it's OTC.

Since I've already been on various steroids over the years (and hydrocortisone is a steroid) and also frequently use hydrocortisone for other skin conditions I have concerns about using too much overall. Having had some serious skin infections I prefer to be cautious in its use.

As I said - hydrocortisone reduces the inflammation, it in no way reduces viral reproduction or length of active cold sores. Sure, less inflammation is a good thing. However, Abreca reduces viral replication and slightly shortens to overall course of the event.

Curasore's active ingredient is an anesthetic. Again, it makes you feel better, and that's a good thing, but it will do nothing for inflammation or viral reproduction.

Had a cold sore two days ago. Used Abreva right away and as of today the blisters/sores are completely gone and it's well on its way to being healed. My lip never swelled up and after the initial application no pain or itching. The affected spot remained very small. YMMV but I'm a believer in Abreva now.



If you want to continue to use hydrocortisone and you're happy with it that's fantastic, go for it. Other people besides just you are reading this, though, and I want them to have some notion of the alternatives.
As for Curasore, it contains ether, and according to an article in Consumer's Reports, ether kills the viruses, but only to a small depth in the body; whereas, acyclovir kills the viruses to a deeper depth. However, I was surprised to find out that ether is an inert ingredient in Curasore and that one of the ingredients that I thought was a solvent is the actual active ingredient (as you say an anesthetic.)

I guess I assume too much on these remedies. For example, I thought that because Listerine contains alcohol and because alcohol kills germs, the FDA approved Listerine for that purpose. However, Listerine contains less than 25% alcohol (but more than 20%) and it is listed as an inert ingredient.

No medication can eliminate the herpes virus from our system. It hides out in the ganglia and is immune from our immune cells as long as it stays there. Best we can do is kill those that come out along the nerve path and cause our symptoms. Even if hydrocortisone does not kill them, it drastically reduces my symptoms.
  #46  
Old 01-20-2015, 07:34 AM
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stay warm
Warm in the belly, that is. And throat, and mouth.

A fresh pot of hot, tasty, spicy, herb-laden curry applied orally generally works wonders for a cold in my experience. Fantastically effective decongestant, gets rid of that cold shivery feeling, and if its spicy enough the endorphin rush will get rid of a headache as well.
  #47  
Old 01-20-2015, 09:16 AM
chargerrich chargerrich is offline
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Not to derail but I have a related question.

I have always believed that the reason there is no "cure for the common cold" is due to sheer number of variants of the virus (up to 200) and that once you have a cold, your body builds an immunity to that strain, effectively meaning you will never get "that" cold again.

Wikipedia seems vague on this after looking it up and even mentions ongoing study for a "cure" so now I am not sure on this belief.

Any Doctors in the house?
  #48  
Old 01-20-2015, 02:06 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chargerrich View Post
Not to derail but I have a related question.

I have always believed that the reason there is no "cure for the common cold" is due to sheer number of variants of the virus (up to 200) and that once you have a cold, your body builds an immunity to that strain, effectively meaning you will never get "that" cold again.

Wikipedia seems vague on this after looking it up and even mentions ongoing study for a "cure" so now I am not sure on this belief.

Any Doctors in the house?
IANAMD. You are at least partially correct from what I have read, but there are two families of cold viruses, rhinoviruses and adenoviruses, and I believe that the latest news on these is that there are over 500. Moreover, I do not believe the immunoglobins produced by the body (igE) are long lasting. Smeghead or another poster can come in with more info. Wikipedia seems inaccurate as to the number and insufficient in other regards.
  #49  
Old 01-20-2015, 02:17 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
Chocolate (specifically, theobromine) is the only cough suppressant that I've found on the Wikpedia listed as being able to perform better than a placebo
... I'd think that's a pretty low bar to clear. "Hm, I wonder if this chocolate is going to work better than that placebo I tried yesterday?"
  #50  
Old 01-20-2015, 05:03 PM
TonyRV2 TonyRV2 is offline
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Boil a pot of water on the stovetop. Start stirring in the center of the pot. Stir in larger and larger circles. When the stir radius lands you in Florida, stop stirring.
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