There are no very effective treatments for the common cold but antibiotics certainly do not help and definitely cause harm.1
- Lower expectations - advise that any cough may last for up to 4 weeks.
- Taking regular paracetamol as needed may be helpful.
- Avoid over the counter cough medicines - (probably not effective).
- Vapour Rub on children’s chests may help with cough for those aged 2 to 11 years.2
- Decongestants such as oral pseudoephedrine (need a controlled drugs form in NZ) and nasal xylometazoline 0.1% are probably effective (neither are subsidized).
- Honey works for some coughs in children; 1 tsp for one to five-year-olds.
- Ipratropium nasal spray is effective for rhinitis.
As published in NZ Doctor