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Management tips for the common cold

There are no very effective treatments for the common cold but antibiotics certainly do not help and definitely cause harm.1

  1. Lower expectations - advise that any cough may last for up to 4 weeks.
  2. Taking regular paracetamol as needed may be helpful. 
  3. Avoid over the counter cough medicines - (probably not effective).
  4. Vapour Rub  on children’s chests may help with cough for those aged 2 to 11 years.2
  5. Decongestants such as oral pseudoephedrine (need a controlled drugs form in NZ) and nasal xylometazoline 0.1% are probably effective (neither are subsidized).
  6. Honey works for some coughs in children; 1 tsp for one to five-year-olds.
  7. Ipratropium nasal spray is effective for rhinitis.

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