NAVIGATING THE OTC MEDICATIONS AISLE: UNDERSTAND COLD AND FLU MEDICATION INGREDIENTS
When you’re in the over-the-counter medications aisle looking for cold and flu relief, you generally reach for a product because of the symptoms it treats. But when you only have a minute, you may not have time to really understand the list of ingredients in that product, most of which you can’t even pronounce. Each ingredient treats a specific symptom so it’s important to understand what they are and what they do. Using various Theraflu® products, let’s examine some of the main symptom relieving ingredients you’ll find in over-the-counter cold and flu medication.
You’ll find Acetaminophen in most cold and flu products as it’s a common pain reliever and fever reducer. More specifically, it relieves mild to moderate pain from headaches, muscle aches, fevers and sore throats, among other non-cold and flu-related symptoms. You’ll find acetaminophen in several Theraflu® products including Theraflu® ExpressMax® Daytime Severe Cold & Cough Caplets. The nighttime formula contains acetaminophen as well.1
Diphenhydramine HCI is a type of antihistamine used to relieve irritated, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; and runny nose caused by allergies or the common cold. You’ll find diphenhydramine in Theraflu® ExpressMax® Flu, Cough & Sore Throat Syrup, among other Theraflu® products.2
You’ll find dextromenthorphan HBr as an additional ingredient in many Theraflu® products such as Theraflu® Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Hot Liquid Powder. It’s in a class of medications called antitussives and acts as a cough suppressant. It works by decreasing activity in the part of the brain that causes coughing.3
Phenylephrine HCI is used to relieve nasal discomfort caused by colds and allergies. It’s also used to relieve sinus congestion and pressure. It works by reducing swelling of the blood vessels in the nasal passages. It’s a decongestant that you’ll find as a secondary ingredient in several Theraflu® products such as Theraflu® ExpressMax® Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough Syrup. You’ll find it in the daytime formula as well.4
Next time you catch a cold or the flu and need symptom relief, you can now quickly navigate the over-the-counter medications aisle with confidence. You’ve got the additional knowledge you need to choose the right Theraflu® product for you, and a little more education on how these ingredients work to bring you relief.
1. Acetaminophen. (2014, August 15). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a681004.html
2. Diphenhydramine. (2015, February 15). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682539.html
3. Dextromethorphan. (2011, July 08). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682492.html
4. Phenylephrine. (2016, July 15). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a606008.html
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