Once you've got symptoms of a cold/flu...

… there’s not much you can do other than hydrate and get plenty of rest, right?

“Hydration” if you have fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Otherwise, not much point and, in theory, you could overdo it.

“Rest” is probably only indicated if you’re tired. Otherwise, do what you want (but don’t expose others).

Acetaminophen (Tylenol and many others) and drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, et al) will help with fever relief and lessen the aches and pains (myalgias, etc), recognizing that latter drugs - NSAIDS - can cause stomach irritation, as well as fluid retention and increased blood pressure if you’re predisposed to such things.

And note that many cold “remedies” contain acetaminophen and/or NSAIDS, so keep track of how much you’re taking in total.


Perhaps silly question; fever is useful for fighting off a virus, right? My recollection of long-distant teachings was that the body elevated temperature in an attempt to kill the virus. Is there a down side to supressing fever?

(I realize you are not my doctor and this is not medical advice).

My usual strategies include whining, unreasonable demands, and salty soups.

Don’t forget the self pity!

If you have actual influenza, and your symptoms are present for less than 48 hours, tamiflu can shorten the duration and reduce the severity of the illness. It’s a handy drug to give to high-risk patients, to reduce complications. Folks with emphysema, heart disease, asthma, etc. are the best candidates. Also the very young and very old.

YMMV. Consult your doctor.

If you think it may be the flu and it’s been less than 48 hours since your symptoms started, you can talk to your doctor about Tamiflu, an anti-viral that can help you get over influenza faster. They should swab inside your nose to test for influenza first.

shakes a fist at Qadgop

After enough influenza cases have been confirmed in the community, I tend to skip that part. High fever, headache, horrible cough, &/or body aches are pretty reliable indicators at that point.

I rarely come down with a cold but when I do it hangs on forever. I’ve learned through bitter experience to leave the Otrivin alone. I used to refer to it as the “liquid gold” (with apologies to Paul Hogan), but eventually tired of the backlash congestion.

This time around I’m using saline spray to reduce congestion. Seems like a no-brainer…no backlash congestion, thus no addiction; antiviral, antibacterial, shrinks swollen tissues. Funny thing is my cold’s over in a week this time. A world record for me. I can hardly believe it. But it makes sense after all, the nose being a perfect breeding ground for viruses, bacteria and I don’t know what all.

And I avoid overexertion as well as too great a lowering of body temperature. Now I know that a chill doesn’t “cause” a cold but I’m sure it interferes with your ability to fight the cold you’ve got.

I think that is why since I took up using a neti pot daily I have had way less in the way of random plagues in the past couple of years. I have always used neutral saline spray, I have had dry sinuses since I was in middle school and the doc I had back then suggested it.

And I don’t care if there is no medical research proving it other than an amorphous claim that it is just the liquid intake that helps, I am of the firm belief that a good pot of homemade chicken soup is phenomenal when you have a cold or the flu. Mine is loaded with garlic, onions, some ginger and plenty of chicken, chunks of carrot and celery.

Sometimes when I start to feel a cold coming on, if I take Airborne for a few days, it seems like I am more likely to fight it off.

I don’t think there is anything magical about this. I think, if your diet has been lacking in some key things to keep your immune system functioning properly, then dosing it with zinc and vitamin C, etc, can give it a boost. I doubt some of the other stuff in there is doing much good, but it probably isn’t really hurting me either.

This kind of advice, so common, also seems so abstract and hypothetical.

Much more typically, if you have any symptoms of anything, as long as it’s not toooo obviously something really really serious, doctors will just tell the patient to take it easy, or suggest some home remedy or OTC stuff, and call again if it doesn’t go away in a week.

What do I have to tell a doctor to convince him to check me over Real Soon Now?

When I rather suddenly came down with rather persistent constipation, I waited for two weeks for it to resolve (assuming that’s just what the doctor would have told me anyway), and then went to the doctor, and he still told me to wait (yet another) week. And even after that, it was several more weeks until I got the recommended colonoscopy. (In the meanwhile, I found relief in various laxatives in larger-than-recommended doses. :smack: )

Or take that really serious bronchitis spell that landed me in the ER in mid-December (for those of you who remembered my Prednisone thread). Until it got that bad, it look like just another bad cold, and I’m sure (as, from prior episodes) that I wouldn’t have gotten any serious attention from any doctor.

So I’m always like :dubious: whenever I see advice about seeing your doctor when you aren’t visibly bleeding or dying, because they’ll always just tell you to take two aspirin and, if you’re still alive in the morning, don’t bother calling back.