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"New" Flu and Cold Products Flood Pharmacy Shelves

"New" Flu and Cold Products Flood Pharmacy Shelves

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Doreen Gentlzer reporting There is no cure for the common cold or the flu. But a slew of over the counter products can minimize the misery that goes along with them.

Recently some new choices have been added to the mix. If you walk through the pharmacy aisle in search of relief from the cold or flu, one word you'll see again and again: "new"

From tiny strips that melt in your mouth, to disposable spoons filled with medicine to stir in your drink. You no longer have to rely solely on the standard syrups and pills to help you through the coughing and stuffy nose spells.

Dr. Andrew Shorr, Pulmonologist: "The ingredients in a vast majority of these products is exactly the same. It's dealer's choice, or patient's preference, the difference in delivery is only focused on convenience it's not necessarily focused on better outcomes or better efficacy."

All of these medicines from the old to the new are meant to lessen the severity of your symptoms. Everything from a cough, to a cold, to a sore throat, to a runny nose. While you don't need a prescription to buy them it is important to read the labels."

Dr. Andrew Shorr: "If you want to take one, and mix it with another you might be taking the equivalent of a lot more Benedryl than you ever thought you would be and you may be asleep a lot longer than you thought, or if you are taking it through the day, it might make you drowsy."

It usually takes about seven to ten days for a cold to run it's course. Some of these medications might help you get through that period. But sometimes a trip to the doctor is in order.

Dr. Andrew Shorr, Pulmonologist: "What I always tell my patients, if you are still having symptoms beyond ten days I want to talk to you, and certainly if you are having any worrisome symptoms like chest pain, high fever, shortness of breath you shouldn't be reaching for any of these, you should be seeking medical attention sooner."

No matter how many times we say it, it's worth repeating: one way to reduce your chances of getting sick in the first place is to routinely wash your hands.

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