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
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
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Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
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Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu
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How to Prevent the Common Cold
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Sore Throat or Strep Throat? How to Tell the Difference
Explore the types and causes of a sore throat through pictures, including strep throat, and learn how to find relief from that...
16 Foods That Boost and Improve Your Immune System
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Nasal Irrigation: Natural Relief for Cold & Allergy Symptoms
Nasal irrigation can relieve sinus symptoms associated with colds & allergies. Learn how nasal irrigation can help unclog sinuses...
Cold, Fever and Flu Treatment in Children: Medications and Home Remedies
Colds and fevers are some of the most common ailments in children. Learn common cold symptoms, treatment options, over the...
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68): Symptoms and Treatment
What is Enterovirus D68? Learn about causes, symptoms and treatment for this deadly strain of EV-D68 virus that has sickened...
A Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference
Learn common symptoms of a cold and the flu. Discover the difference between a cold and the flu. Read about cold and flu...
Germs: Everyday Items with the Most Bacteria
Explore the germiest places you may encounter daily. Bacteria is everywhere. Learn tips to avoid germs and bacteria in public...
Home Remedies for the Flu or a Cold
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10 Facts About Flu Shots
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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
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Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip (Symptoms, Treatment)
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Headaches in Children
Kids get headaches and migraines too. Many adults with headaches started having them as kids, in fact, 20% of adult headache...
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Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
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Swollen Lymph Nodes (Glands): Pictures, Causes, Locations, Symptoms, Treatments
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Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI)
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Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and Cures
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Children's Cough Causes and Treatments
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Is a Sinus Infection Contagious?
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Cold and Cough Medicine for Infants and Children
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Mastoiditis (Symptoms, Treatment, Cure in Adults and Children
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Laryngitis Home Remedies (in Adults and Children)
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Local ResourcesFind a local Family Physician in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Chronic Cough
- Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
- Fatigue, Tiredness, and Lethargy
- Watery Eye
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Stress: Avoid Desktop Stress
- Runny Nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Eye Discharge
- Common Cold
- Swollen Tonsils
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Contagious FAQs
- Common Cold FAQs
- Killer Cold Virus (Adenovirus Strains)
- Hotel Hygiene: Is Your Hotel Making You Sick?
- The Broad Spectrum of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Disease
- Colds: 10 Tips to Prevent The Common Cold
- Common Cold . . . Social Ties Decrease Risk
- Colds: Zinc For Colds...Jury Still Out!
- National Poison Prevention Week
- Cough, Cold, Weight Loss Drug Dangerous - Warning
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Shortness of Breath & VP Cheney
- What Kind of Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take?
- 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
- Acute Bronchitis: How Long Do Symptoms Last?
- Air Travel, Colds, and Sinus Infections
Medications & Supplements
- 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
- ERYTHROMYCIN ESTOLATE-ORAL LIQUID, Ilosone
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Alavert Allergy & Sinus, Claritin-D, Claritin-D 24 hour)
- ipratropium bromide inhaler, Atrovent, Atrovent HFA
- promethazine and codeine, Phenergan with Codeine
- benzonatate (Tessalon Perles, Zonatuss - discontinued in the US)
- hydroxyzine (Vistaril)
- fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine, Allegra-D
- chlorpheniramine and hydrocodone, Tussionex, TussiCaps, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vituz
- Over-the-Counter Products
- Zinc for Colds: Lozenges & Nasal Sprays
- Antihistamines (Oral)
- clindamycin, oral (Cleocin)
- aztreonam - injection, Azactam
- naphazoline/pheniramine - ophthalmic, Naphcon-A, Opcon-A
- decongestant drops - nasal
- guaifenesin/theophylline/pseudoephedrine elixir - oral, Broncomar-1
- echinacea (echinacea sp.) - oral
- gatifloxacin-oral, Tequin
- sodium chloride - intranasal spray (Ocean, Ayr Saline, Humist, NaSal, Little Noses, Ocean)
- propylene glycol/polyethylene glycol spray - nasal, Rhinaris
- clindamycin-oral solution, Cleocin Pediatric
- moxifloxacin, Avelox
- expectorant/decongestant/narcotic antitussive/acetaminophen-oral
- ephedrine (oral)
- goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis) - oral
- guaifenesin/pseudoephedrine - oral, Duratuss, Maxifed
- guaifenesin/phenylephrine - oral, Endal, Numonyl, Sinupan
- decongestant/antihistamine/anticholinergic - oral
- penicillin G benzathine (Bicillin L-A)
- licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Alcacuz, Sweet Root, Gan Zao, and many others)
- decongestant/narcotic antitussive/antihistamine - oral
- gemifloxacin - oral, Factive
- decongestant/narcotic antitussive/acetaminoph/antihistamine - oral
- dextromethorphan/decongestant/antihistamine - oral
- guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide (Robitussin and Mucinex)
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- pseudoephedrine (Oral, Afrinol, Sudafed)
- decongestant/narcotic antitussive - oral, Alahist DHC, Symtan
- acetaminophen/phenyltoloxamine-oral, Dologesic, Flextra-650, Novagesic, Rhinoflex, Staflex
- guaifenesin/codeine (Cheratussin AC, Codar GF, Dex-Tuss, Guaiatussin AC, Iophen C-NR, M-Clear)
- phenylpropanolamine-oral, Accutrim, Dexatrim
- clindamycin - injection, Cleocin
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- hydrocodone/homatropine (Hycodan [discontinued] Tussigon)
- narcotic antitussive/antihistamine - oral
- ginseng (eleutherococcus and panax sp.) - oral
- garlic (allium sativum l.) - oral
- Nasal Decongestants
- norfloxacin, Noroxin
- iodine, strong - oral
- naphazoline - ophthalmic, Albalon, Naphcon, Vasocon
- decongestant spray - nasal
- terpin hydrate/codeine
- Acetaminophen vs. Ibuprofen for Pain (Differences in Side Effects and Dosage)
Prevention & Wellness
- How to Decide When You're Too Sick to Work
- Many Parents Wrong About What Prevents Colds in Kids
- Can You Predict Your Common Cold Risk?
- The Secret Behind Chicken Soup's Medical Magic
- Nose Holds Clues to Baby's First Cold
- Skip the Cold Meds for Kids Under 6, Experts Say
- Working Out When Under the Weather
- Colds Especially Bad? Your Nose Might Be to Blame
- Scientists Are Targeting the Common Cold
- What You Need to Know About Fever in Adults
- Hold That Sneeze? Maybe Not
- Is It a Cold or Flu? Here's How to Tell
- Could Your Salon Visit Make You Sick?
- Human Cold Virus Killed Chimpanzees
- 'Tis the Season to Fight Infection
- Health Tip: Prevent Germs at the Doctor's Office
- What Really Works to Fight a Stubborn Cough?
- When a Cold or Flu Strikes a Family Member
- Kids' Colds Linked to Asthma, Lung Problems Later
- High-Dose Vitamin D May Not Curb Kids' Colds
- 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
- Could Infant Colds, Other Infections Raise Type 1 Diabetes Risk?
- Scientists Piggyback Experimental HIV Vaccine on Cold Viruses
- No Antibiotics for Common Respiratory Infections: Experts
- Health Tip: Help Prevent RSV
- Health Tip: Treating Your Child's Cold
- 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
- Nasal Spray May Kill Cold Virus
- Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Colds
- Health Tip: Caught a Cold?
- Regular Hand-Washing Can Prevent Against Colds, Flu
- Kids & Cold Drugs: Questions, Answers
- Panel: No Cold Medicine for Young Kids
- Infant Cough, Cold Drugs Withdrawn
- FDA Experts Urge Ban on Cold Medicines for Young Children
- Vitamin C Can't Cure Common Cold
- Cold Medicine Risky for Kids
- Cold Viruses May Linger in Hotel Rooms
- 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!
- Cover Your Cough!
- Germs Germs Everywhere!
- Cold and Flu Symptoms
- 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!
- Zinc...Just The Facts
- Anthrax or Flu? - What You Need to Know
- Zinc...A Cure For The Common Cold
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