I had planned to post this within the first few days of 2018, but cold and flu season came rushing in and managed to take us down. While we are finally feeling better, it was a few rough weeks of sniffles, aches, fever, cough, and congestion around here. It hit us hard and I know a lot has been going on in the news about this flu season and other colds and viruses. That’s why I’m proud to be partnering with MedSavvy, a prescription price and safety tool created by pharmacists that compare medications by cost and effectiveness.
Thankfully, I had help in choosing the right cold medicine and I was in no condition to stand up for too long in the drugstore aisle and deliberate the various options. MedSavvy came in handy as a useful tool that empowered me as a parent when I needed it most. I honestly had not been this sick in the last 20 years and while it was difficult to think clearly and focus, I was glad to have help by Dr. Diana Graalum, Clinical Pharmacy Manager at MedSavvy. She provided cold medicine information to help with choosing the right medicine that is really handy! Dr. Graalum along with her awesome tips include…
Choosing a cold medicine by identifying your most pressing symptom and find a product that targets it directly.
Here are examples of common cold symptoms and their related medications:
Cough: Look for meds containing dextromethorphan. While it is considered “non-sedating”, but it is always best to use with caution.
Chest congestion: Look for meds containing “expectorant” but keep in mind that drinking water is the best expectorant! If you are looking for something additional, products with guaifenesin are an option and work well if you take with water.
Runny nose: To dry up a runny nose, the antihistamine class of medications comes to the rescue. If you need some sleep, sedating antihistamines include active ingredients diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine. If you need to power through the day, non-sedating ingredients include cetirizine, loratadine, and fexofenadine.
Stuffy nose: To treat your stuffy nose symptoms, a decongestant is in order. There are two oral decongestants: pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.
Achiness: To take care of your achy joints, muscles, head, and skin you will want a medication that treats pain. Over the counter options typically include ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen. I was so achy for about two straight days, and these options helped alleviate some of the discomfort. For parents, this is critical information for children to always keep in mind.
For children under 12 years old:
Dosing of liquids should be done with an oral syringe or special measuring device and not a utensil like your everyday silverware.
Avoid aspirin in febrile viral illnesses (like the flu and Chickenpox) because of concerns for Reye’s syndrome.
If prescribed codeine, ask your doctor for something safer.
For children under two years old:
It is best to avoid most cold medicine products.
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are the exception and can be used for fever. Check with your healthcare professional for dosing or questions.
Non-medicine treatments like nasal saline spray, ear bulb syringe and a humidifier are useful for stuffy, runny nose and chest congestion.
Children under the age of two can go from bad to worse quickly so always reach out to your doctor or healthcare professional and trust your gut.
All of these tips helped us get through our new year sickness, along with extra rest, Grandma’s chicken soup, and lots of cuddles. By the way, these pictures were taken before we were sick. I’ll spare everyone the visuals from our illness days!
As an active and busy mom and nurse, I’m all about empowering each other with good and useful information. I appreciate having MedSavvy at my fingertips and am happy to recommend a tool that I trust. Curated by pharmacists, the prescription medicines are evaluated based on evidence about how well they work, how good the science is behind the research, and assign each drug a report-card-style grade making it easy to understand. This puts my mind at ease and while I hope the rest of the winter is illness free, MedSavvy is a great way to feel prepared.
MedSavvy is a tool offered through your employer or health insurance provider. To discover if MedSavvy is available to you, contact your health insurance provider or HR representative. This is a sponsored post, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.