What Is the Quickest Way to Get Rid of a Cough or Cold?

Brad Williams

South Fork Pharmacy

Moorefield, West Virginia

October 1, 2022

If you don’t incorporate a hot toddy into your response to this question, you’re probably not doing it right! In all seriousness, the honey in a hot toddy is beneficial to many in quelling a cough. If you are seeking a more “modern” approach, rest, hydration, and first-generation antihistamines (such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine) are the most effective options for drying mucus secretions, and they have a moderate anti-tussive effect. With the added benefit of sedation associated with first-generation antihistamines, you will likely rest easier, as well. However, if you are elderly or have prostate issues, antihistamines are to be avoided.

Another option that may benefit certain patients are dextromethorphan products, which include some cough syrups and suppressants. Then there is the cough drop. Demulcents, which can be found in certain types of cough drops, can soothe irritated throats and decrease the cough reflex in some patients, while menthol-containing drops are modestly effective. Steamy showers and cool-mist humidifiers round out my recommendations for quickly quelling your cough and cold symptoms.

The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent that of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any health condition and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health professional.

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