The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments. Read more: Common Cold Article
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Local ResourcesFind a local Family Physician in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Watery Eye
- Eye Discharge
- Swollen Tonsils
- Fatigue, Tiredness, and Lethargy
- Runny Nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Chronic Cough
- Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
- Common Cold
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Stress: Avoid Desktop Stress
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Contagious FAQs
- Common Cold FAQs
- Non-Polio Enterovirus Disease
- Acute Bronchitis Treatment Treatment Medications and Home Remedies
- OTC Cold and Cough Medications
- Flu: What to Do if You Get the Flu
- Herbs: Toxicities and Drug Interactions
- When to Call the Doctor for Fever, Nausea, Diarrhea, Colds, and Coughs
- Are You Too Sick to Work?
- Acute Bronchitis: How Long Do Symptoms Last?
- Cold and Cough Medicine for Infants and Children: A Doctor's View
- Hotel Hygiene: Is Your Hotel Making You Sick?
- Air Travel, Colds, and Sinus Infections
- Colds: 10 Tips to Prevent The Common Cold
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- National Poison Prevention Week
- The Broad Spectrum of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Disease
- Killer Cold Virus Facts
- Shortness of Breath & VP Cheney
- Cough, Cold, Weight Loss Drug Dangerous - Warning
- Common Cold . . . Social Ties Decrease Risk
- Colds: Zinc For Colds...Jury Still Out!
Medications & Supplements
- hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- Antihistamines (Oral)
- clindamycin, oral (Cleocin)
- benzonatate (Tessalon Perles, Zonatuss - discontinued in the US)
- ibuprofen chewable - oral, Advil, Children's Advil, Motri
- azithromycin - intravenous, Zithromax
- naproxen - oral, Anaprox, Naprosyn
- clarithromycin suspension - oral, Biaxin
- levofloxacin - oral, Levaquin
- levofloxacin - injection, Levaquin
- promethazine/phenylephrine - oral
- erythromycin lactobionate - intravenous
- ibuprofen - oral, Advil, Motrin, Nuprin
- erythromycin base, erythromycin stearate - oral, Erythrocin
- acyclovir ointment - topical, Zovirax
- ciprofloxacin - oral, Cipro
- guaifenesin/dextromethorphan/decongestant - oral
- azithromycin 600 mg - oral, Zithromax
- erythromycin ethylsuccinate liquid - oral, E.E.S., Eryped
- ibuprofen suspension - oral, Children's Advil, Children's M
- promethazine/dextromethorphan - oral
- azithromycin 250/500 mg - oral, Zithromax
- ciprofloxacin suspension - oral, Cipro
- ciprofloxacin sustained-release - oral, Cipro XR
- erythromycin base enteric coated delayed release - oral, Ery-Tab, Eryc, PCE
- promethazine/phenylephrine/codeine - oral
- azithromycin suspension - oral, Zithromax
- benzonatate- oral, Tessalon Perle, Zonatuss
- azithromycin powder packet - oral, Zithromax
- guaifenesin/decongestant/narcotic antitussive/antihistamine - oral
- clarithromycin - oral, Biaxin
- doxycycline - oral, Monodox, Vibra-Tabs, Vibramyci
- guaifenesin/antitussive/decongestant/antihistamine - oral
- clarithromycin extended-release tablet - oral, Biaxin XL
- ketoprofen - oral, Orudis
- guaifenesin/decongestant/antihistamine - oral
- promethazine/codeine syrup - oral, Phenergan w/ codeine
- ipratropium bromide inhaler, Atrovent, Atrovent HFA
- ERYTHROMYCIN ESTOLATE-ORAL LIQUID, Ilosone
- decongestant spray - nasal
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Dilaudid-5, Dilaudid-HP Injection, Exalgo) for Pain
- Over-the-Counter Products
- guaifenesin/codeine (Cheratussin AC, Codar GF, Dex-Tuss, Guaiatussin AC, Iophen C-NR, M-Clear)
- ephedrine (oral)
- garlic (allium sativum l.) - oral
- sodium chloride - intranasal spray (Ocean, Ayr Saline, Humist, NaSal, Little Noses, Ocean)
- promethazine and codeine, Phenergan with Codeine
- decongestant drops - nasal
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis) - oral
- clindamycin - injection, Cleocin
- clindamycin-oral solution, Cleocin Pediatric
- iodine, strong - oral
- chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone, Tussionex, TussiCaps, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vituz
- Nasal Decongestants
- hydrocodone/homatropine (Hycodan [discontinued] Tussigon)
- terpin hydrate/codeine
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- phenylpropanolamine-oral, Accutrim, Dexatrim
- licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others)
- norfloxacin, Noroxin
- echinacea (echinacea sp.) - oral
- penicillin G benzathine (Bicillin L-A)
- moxifloxacin, Avelox
- pseudoephedrine (Oral, Afrinol, Sudafed)
- guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide (Robitussin and Mucinex Formulas)
- fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine, Allegra-D
- naphazoline/pheniramine - ophthalmic, Naphcon-A, Opcon-A
- aztreonam - injection, Azactam
- expectorant/decongestant/narcotic antitussive/acetaminophen-oral
- dextromethorphan/decongestant/antihistamine - oral
- gatifloxacin-oral, Tequin
- gemifloxacin - oral, Factive
- decongestant/antihistamine/anticholinergic - oral
- narcotic antitussive/antihistamine - oral
- naphazoline - ophthalmic, Albalon, Naphcon, Vasocon
- Zinc for Colds: Lozenges & Nasal Sprays
- ginseng (eleutherococcus and panax sp.) - oral
- propylene glycol/polyethylene glycol spray - nasal, Rhinaris
- acetaminophen/phenyltoloxamine-oral, Dologesic, Flextra-650, Novagesic, Rhinoflex, Staflex
- decongestant/narcotic antitussive/antihistamine - oral
- guaifenesin/phenylephrine - oral, Endal, Numonyl, Sinupan
- guaifenesin/theophylline/pseudoephedrine elixir - oral, Broncomar-1
- guaifenesin/pseudoephedrine - oral, Duratuss, Maxifed
- decongestant/narcotic antitussive/acetaminoph/antihistamine - oral
- decongestant/narcotic antitussive - oral, Alahist DHC, Symtan
Prevention & Wellness
- Health Tip: Prevent Germs at the Doctor's Office
- What Really Works to Fight a Stubborn Cough?
- Kids' Colds Linked to Asthma, Lung Problems Later
- When a Divorce Turns Bitter, Kids' Immune Systems May Pay a Price
- Hand Washing Works Whether the Water's Hot or Cold
- Health Tip: Get More Sleep if You Have a Cold
- Can People 'Sniff' Out Illness in Others?
- Health Tip: Stave Off Cold Symptoms for Better Sleep
- Most U.S. Kids Who Die From Flu Are Unvaccinated
- A Lonely Heart Could Worsen a Cold
- Common Cold Can Be Dangerous After Bone Marrow Transplant
- Many Americans Unaware of 'Superbug' Threat: Poll
- Health Tip: Identifying Signs of the Common Cold
- Health Tip: Going Outside in Winter Weather
- Skimp on Sleep and You Just May Wind Up Sick
- Health Tip: Feeling Under the Weather?
- Debunking Winter Weather Myths
- The Etiquette of Achoo!
- Common Virus May Have Ties to Type 1 Diabetes
- Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to Tell
- Health Tip: When a Child Is Sick
- Health Tip: Trying to Unclog That Stuffy Nose?
- Health Tip: Get the Facts About Antibiotics
- U.S. Death Toll From Infectious Diseases Unchanged: Study
- Do Your Part to Stop Spreading Colds and Flu
- Health Tip: Need Pain Relief?
- Health Tip: Avoid These 5 Pre-Bedtime Don'ts
- More Must Be Done to Fight 'Superbugs': U.S. Gov't Report
- Health Tip: Using a Neti Pot
- Neti Pot Beats Steam for Sinus Congestion Relief
- Many Adults Use Antibiotics Without Consulting Doctor, Survey Finds
- Why Being Cold Might Foster a Cold
- FDA Asks How Safe Is That Hand Sanitizer?
- Think You're Allergic to Penicillin? Maybe Not
- Too Many People Still Take Unneeded Antibiotics: Study
- Scientists Piggyback Experimental HIV Vaccine on Cold Viruses
- No Antibiotics for Common Respiratory Infections: Experts
- Health Tip: Help Prevent RSV
- Protect Yourself From Colds and Flu This Winter
- Try Home Remedies for Child's Cough or Cold
- Maybe You Can Forecast Your Health Better Than a Doctor
- Vitamin D Won't Guard Against Colds in People With Asthma
- Ah-Choo! Sneeze 'Cloud' Quickly Covers a Room, Study Finds
- Certain Antibiotic Might Combat Children's Wheezing Episodes
- Prepare Yourself for Cold, Flu Season
- Health Tip: Considering Cough Medicine?
- Enterovirus D68 No Deadlier for Kids Than the Common Cold: Study
- Colds, Flu Up Odds for Stroke in Kids, Though Risk Is Low: Study
- Too Little Sleep May Quadruple Your Risk for Colds: Study
- Online Program Boosts Hand Washing, Cuts Infections
- New Gene Test Speeds Diagnosis of Stomach Bug That Strikes Kids
- Doctors May Play Big Role in Antibiotic Overuse: Study
- That Lingering Cough Could Be Bronchitis
- Is It a Cold or an Allergy?
- Little Improvement in Children Paralyzed After Viral Infection, Study Finds
- Study Suggests Link Between E-Cigarettes, Respiratory Infections
- Researchers Probe Why Colds Are More Likely in Winter
- FDA Shares Advice to Avoid Colds and Flu
- Dealing With Cold Weather Injuries
- Ebola, Obamacare Top U.S. Health News for 2014
- Health Tip: Easing Baby's Nasal Congestion
- Health Tip: What's Behind Your Sore Throat?
- Health Tip: When to Call the Doctor About a Cold or Flu
- Medication Errors Occur Every 8 Minutes in U.S. Children
- New Clues to How Colds Can Spur Asthma Attacks
- 29 States, District of Columbia Reporting Respiratory Illness That Targets Kids
- Enterovirus D68: What Parents Need to Know
- Respiratory Virus Hitting Kids in at Least 12 States
- Study Ties Colds, Flu to Rare Risk of Stroke in Kids
- When Colds, Flu Lead to Complications in Kids
- ER Visits Peak When Kids Barred From Child Care: Study
- So Long Snow, Hello Pollen
- Common Cold Meds May Pose Health Threats
- Offices With Open Floor Plans Tied to More Sick Days
- Infections Like Colds, Chickenpox Tied to Some Stroke Risk in Kids
- Expectant Mothers' Colds May Affect Baby
- Health Tip: Using a Nasal Spray
- Hand Washing, Zinc May Ward Off Colds: Review
- Want to Stay Healthy? Try Washing Your Hands
- Meet Henry the Hand: A Crusading Doctor's Right-Hand Man
- Health Tip: Avoid Spreading the Common Cold
- When a Common Cold Becomes More Dangerous for Kids
- Health Tip: Don't Take Too Much Acetaminophen
- FDA Wants Tighter Rules on Antibacterial Soaps, Body Washes
- As More Meningitis Cases Hit Colleges, Experts Urge Awareness
- Fewer ER Visits for Kids After Cold Medicine Restrictions
- Poorer Childhoods, More Colds as Adults?
- Flu Can Kill Even Healthy Children, Study Finds
- Health Tip: Soothing Pain With Cold Therapy
- Take Infection Precautions When Using Nasal-Rinsing Products: FDA
- Bacterial 'Autopsy' Could Speed Antibiotic Discovery: Study
- Health Tip: When Taking a Decongestant
- Health Tip: When Your Child Has a Cold
- Your Summer Cold May Actually Be an Allergic Reaction
- Health Highlights: May 28, 2013
- Many Parents Give Kids Cold Medicines When They Shouldn't, Survey Finds
- Cold and Flu Sufferers Should Ease Back Into Fitness Routine
- Blame Common Colds on Your Chromosome 'Caps?'
- Emerging SARS-Like Virus Well-Suited to Attack Humans: Study
- New SARS-Like Virus May Have Spread Between People
- Hand Sanitizers: Do They Help Stop All Germs?
- Scientists Explore How Zinc Fights Off Infection
- Doubling Up on Cold, Flu Remedies May Harm Liver
- Health Tip: Take Antibiotics Only When Needed
- Health Tip: If You Have a Cold
- Many Americans Still in the Dark About Antibiotic Resistance
- Health Tip: Is That Sore Throat Strep?
- Health Tip: What's Behind a Sore Throat?
- Antibiotics Don't Ease Coughs in Kids With Common Cold: Study
- That May Not Be a Cold, Could Be Fall Allergies
- Antibiotics May Raise Bowel Disease Risk in Kids
- Kids' Strep Throat: Likely No Need to Lose Tonsils
- Vitamin D May Thwart Kids' Winter Colds
- Steroids Won't Ease Most Sinusitis Attacks, Study Finds
- Exercise, Meditation Can Beat Back Cold, Flu, Study Finds
- Parenthood May Reduce the Risk of Catching a Cold
- Many Babies Healthier in Homes With Dogs
- Colds May Be Even More 'Common' Than People Think
- Health Tip: Does Your Child Have a Seasonal Allergy?
- Cough Medicine and Cough Syrups
- Ritual in Some Jewish Circumcisions Raises Risk of Herpes Infection: Report
- Babies' Vulnerability to Colds Tied to Immune Response at Birth
- The 6 Dirtiest Work Places
- Steroid Nasal Sprays Show Small Benefit for Sinusitis: Study
- Does Your Child Have Seasonal Allergies or a Cold?
- Zinc May Slightly Help Adults With Colds, Not Kids
- Why Stress Might Make You Sick
- Research Shows How Colds Lead to Coughing, Wheezing
- Respiratory Virus Killed 8 Military Recruits After Vaccination Program Halted
- Novel Hepatitis C Vaccine Shows Some Early Promise
- Infant Acetaminophen Dosage Change May Cause Confusion
- Are the Benefits of Vitamin D Overhyped?
- Pinkeye Treatment May Be on the Horizon
- Despite Warning, Babies Still Get Cough Medicine
- Man Flu: Is Job Stress to Blame?
- Head Lice Grow Resistant to Treatments
- Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
- Vitamin C Can't Cure Common Cold
- Happy, Healthy, Valentine!
- Brain-Eating Amoeba in Neti Pots
- The Truth About Probiotics and Your Gut
- Common Cold: Too Sick to Work?
- Warnings on Three Zicam Intranasal Zinc Products
- When to Call the Doctor About Flu
- Flu Prevention: Use Your Immune System!
- Cold and Flu Symptoms
- Cover Your Cough!
- Germs Germs Everywhere!
- Hand Washing: Clean Hands Save Lives: Emergency Situations
- FDA Clears Test to Identify 12 Respiratory Viruses
- Sleep Better When You're Sick
- Colds: How to Care for Someone Without Getting Sick Yourself
- Tylenol: Children's TYLENOL® Meltaways and SoftChews Recalled
- Medical Myths Debunked
- Presidential Advice: Shake Off a Cold
- Cold and Flu: Soup Is Good for What Ails You
- Workout Wipeout
- Antibiotic Resistance: Snort. Sniffle. Sneeze. No Antibiotics Please!
- Anthrax or Flu? - What You Need to Know
- Zinc...Just The Facts
- Zinc...A Cure For The Common Cold
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