Matching medicines: Separate symptoms to get the right over-the-counter medication

Separate symptoms to get the right over-the-counter medication (Cleveland Clinic)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you may find some relief in the pharmacy aisle.

A report released on Tuesday from pharmacy specialists at the Cleveland Clinic say that you should first look at the ingredient list on a cough or cold medication and make sure nothing listed has anything that you don't tolerate well.

Then you should see if you should not use it if you have any chronic health problems such as diabetes or blood pressure problems. Once you, and your pharmacist, determine it's okay, start matching products to the worst of your symptoms.

Cold medicines are favored over allergy medicines if you are looking for an antihistamine. Both contain medicine that helps fight an allergic reaction, but cold medicines have the type designed to dry up a runny nose and post-nasal drip, which may also help relieve a cough.

If you've had that nasty dry cough going around that is lingering for weeks, the report suggests you treat it with something that is called a “DM Cough” product.

That can help manage the cough, but specialists at the Cleveland Clinic warn that it should not be used to treat bronchitis. Instead, you should see your doctor if you think you have that health concern.

If you have chest congestion and a cough that brings up nasty mucus, it's suggested you look for a product that has “guaifenesin”. It will help you bring up more mucus, something you do want to get out of the body.

If you need to get rid of a stuffy nose, try to find a decongestant. Products that contain pseudoephedrine are more effective but require a photo ID for purchase.

A nasal spray designed for congestion can also help treat a stuffy nose, but should not be used for more than three days.

If you need any of those for longer than about seven to ten days, it may be better to seek medical attention and make your cough or cold has not become something that requires a stronger prescription.

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