Best Medicine For Runny Nose

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Colds and the flu.”

A Guide to Cold Medicine for Adults

Decongestants can curb swelling inside your nose and sinuses, and help you breathe more easily. If you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant can be helpful.

Decongestants can make some people hyper or keep them awake.

They can also increase blood pressure and heart rate, and raise the chance of heart attacks and strokes. Pseudoephedrine is the primary oral decongestant available. In general, if your blood pressure is well-controlled with medications, a decongestant shouldn’t be a problem as long as you monitor your blood pressure. This may not be true with certain types of blood pressure drugs. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about what may be best for you.

Nasal decongestants work fast to open breathing passages. But if you use them for more than 3 days in a row, you may have a “rebound effect” and end up more congested than you were at the start. Some doctors suggest using a saline spray instead of a medicated spray. Saline spray works more slowly but has no rebound effect.

Runny Nose, Watery Eyes, and Sneezing

When you have a cold, your body makes chemicals called histamines. That leads to sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes.

Over-the-counter antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine block this process and can relieve those symptoms. They can also make you sleepy and dry out your eyes, nose, and mouth. Antihistamines can make secretions thick, which can be a problem for people with asthma.


Can’t stop hacking? You have two main choices in the cold-and-flu aisle:

  • Cough suppressants, like dextromethorphan, can provide relief for a short time. They work on the part of your brain that controls the process.
  • Expectorants, like guaifenesin, can break up congestion in your chest by thinning the mucus in your airways. This way, when you do cough, you can get rid of phlegm more easily. Drink plenty of water if you take this medicine.

An occasional cough may clear the lung of pollutants and excess phlegm and probably shouldn’t be treated. But a cough that won’t go away should be diagnosed and treated.

Fever, Aches, and Sore Throat

These symptoms are usually mild with a cold compared to a more serious illness, like the flu. Still, if you feel bad and can’t rest, most experts agree it’s OK to take something to ease pain and lower a fever, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Fever may be a good thing. It helps the body fight off infection by suppressing the growth of bacteria and viruses and activating the immune system. Doctors no longer recommend fighting fever for most people, except perhaps for the very young, the very old, and those with certain medical conditions such as heart disease or lung disease. But if you’re uncomfortable, it’s fine to take these medications.

Young people (including those in their early 20s), however, should avoid aspirin. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are best. Each type of medicine has risks, so check with your doctor or pharmacist as to which type of pain reliever or fever reducer is best for you.

Drinking lots of fluids and using salt water gargles (made by mixing a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt) can often ease the pain of a sore throat. Some oral medications (such as Tylenol) and medicated lozenges and gargles can also temporarily soothe a sore throat. Check with your doctor before using any medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and don’t use lozenges or gargles for more than a few days. The drugs could mask signs of strep throat, a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.

Always check drug labels for side effects, and follow the instructions for taking the medicine. Make sure it won’t mix poorly with any other medications you’re taking or health problems you have — ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure.

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Natural Cold Remedies

Maybe you’ve heard that vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc are good for a cold.

They aren’t cures, but vitamin C and zinc may shorten the length of an illness. Research on echinacea has been mixed. Before you try these products, check with your doctor to make sure they’ll work well with other medicines you’re taking.

Nasal strips can also help you breathe easier, since they can enlarge nasal passages while you wear them.

Other more traditional remedies might help relieve common cold discomfort, too.

  • Drink plenty of liquids, including chicken soup. It can make you feel better.
  • To relieve a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water, use throat sprays, and suck on ice or lozenges.
  • Try a saltwater nasal rinse. These can help with a stuffy or runny nose.
  • Use petroleum jelly on your nose if it’s irritated from constant blowing. Facial tissues with added lotions can help prevent, and heal, redness and soreness.
  • Use a humidifier to help break up phlegm.

Do what you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible, and rest while your body fights the cold virus.

Show Sources

CDC: “Cold Symptom Relief,” “Cold versus Flu.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Disease & Conditions.”

Consumer Reports: “Can I take a Decongestant Pill and a Nasal Spray at the Same Time?” “Understanding your OTC Options.”

Medline Plus: “Guaifenesin,” “Dextromethorphan,” “Humidifiers & Health,” “Phenylephrine,” “Pseudoephedrine.”

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Colds and the flu.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “The Common Cold: Treatment.”

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “The Flu, the Common Cold, and Complementary Health Practices.” “Nasal Decongestants.”

Science, M. Canadian Medical Association Journal, published online May 7, 2012.

The American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Best Medicine For Runny Nose

How To Treat A Runny Nose

Camille Freking, MS Pharmacology - Genexa Partner Profile Photo

Written by Camille Freking, MS Pharmacology – Genexa Partner on September 28, 2021

Medically reviewed by Camille Freking MS Pharmacology

Surprise, surprise: you (or your kid) have come down with a classic case of a runny nose… again. Though a runny nose is a temporary problem, we know how uncomfortable it can be.

The most common culprit of a runny nose is cold weather, viral infection, or allergies, all of which are temporary but inconvenient regardless. When your runny nose happens as a result of being sick, the best methods of treatment may be resting up and making sure to drink plenty of fluids in order to support your body while you heal.

So, you know a runny nose can be caused by a variety of things, but why exactly does it happen? Understanding this part of the process may help you make a more informed decision regarding how you go about treating your symptoms.

Why Does a Runny Nose Happen?

When a virus, allergen, or other irritant enters your nasal passages, the lining of your nose and sinuses becomes irritated and inflamed, and your nose produces mucus as a result. The mucus is there to help trap bacteria, viruses, and allergens in order to help flush them away. That mucus is a very important part of your airway system because it keeps your airways moist and helps keep them working.

Even more, the mucus in your nose contains antibodies that can help kill off viruses and bacteria. Though it is just doing its job, it sure is annoying when your body produces too much mucus — this can result in a cough, congestion, and runny nose.

Postnasal Drip

Another side effect of too much mucus is something known as postnasal drip. This happens specifically when the excess mucus begins to go down the back of your throat, and it can lead to a sore throat and cough.

Occasionally, a runny nose and congestion may happen concurrently because of inflamed blood vessels, but this does not always mean antibiotics are required.

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some home remedies that may help with more minor cases of a runny nose.

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Home Remedies

Minor cases of a runny nose generally will not require medication in order for them to improve, but home remedies can be helpful. Some common at-home treatments for a runny nose include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can help thin out mucus and support your body’s healing. Thinner mucus makes it easier for your body to get rid of it, which is why this method works.
  • Drinking hot tea: Drinking hot tea can soothe your symptoms as warm beverages release heat and steam that can help calm irritated airways. When drinking tea, though, be mindful of whether or not your tea of choice is caffeinated, as caffeine can lead to dehydration. Follow any caffeinated tea beverages with a glass of plain water.
  • Using facial steam: Facial steam, like that from a hot shower or the mist from a humidifier, can both soothe your airways and thin out mucus. Adding certain essential oils, like eucalyptus or peppermint, to the water in your shower or sink while it is heating up can make this method even more effective.
  • Trying out a neti pot: This may be a great idea, as neti pots help flush out your nose and sinuses through the use of a saline solution or distilled water.
  • Eating spicy foods: Believe it or not, spicy foods can be helpful, even if it sounds a little out of left field. This method works because spicy food can thin up the mucus and relieve the pressure in your sinuses . Along these lines, spicy foods can make a runny nose worse since they dilate your nasal passages, but this also means that they are helping get rid of built-up mucus.

These remedies are all easy ways to treat a runny nose without spending money, and they can be really effective in minor cases.

That said, we understand that sometimes, symptoms are persistent and highly uncomfortable. In these cases, medicine may be your next step.

What Kind of Medicine is Best for a Runny Nose?

When your runny nose just won’t quit, certain over-the-counter medicines may be able to help ease your discomfort. For a runny nose, antihistamines can sometimes be effective… but here’s the thing. Some antihistamines have sedative effects, causing major drowsiness which can catch you off guard.

Plus, if your child is the one suffering from a runny nose, some antihistamines are not even approved for use by children, which may leave you hanging. Evidently, there are plenty of cons when it comes to most commercially available medicines intended for treating cold symptoms.

That’s where Genexa comes in.

Genexa is the first clean medicine company devoted to making medicines that have the active ingredients you need, but without any unnecessary inactive artificial stuff.

Genexa’s Kids’ Cold Crush organic cold and cough tablets are perfect if your little ones come down with a cold (and runny nose) that won’t quit. This product is a homeopathic remedy that makes use of ingredients like chamomile and onion in order to help ease symptoms, and is great for children between the ages of 3 and 11.

Genexa’s Kids’ Cough & Chest Congestion oral suspension is another great option that can ease symptoms like a cough, chest congestion, and mucus production. It can be used by children between the ages of 4 and 12 and is safe and effective when the appropriate dosage is followed. This medicine is made with the same active ingredient as Mucinex® Children’s FreeFrom™ Cough & Mucus, but without the other artificial inactive ingredients you don’t need or want.

If you opt for a product from Genexa, you can know that Genexa is committing to revolutionizing the world of medicine by putting people and clean ingredients – like non-GMO, organic inactives – first.

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, a runny nose is extremely uncomfortable, but temporary.

A runny nose can happen due to the flu, allergies, or just the common cold, but in any event I understand you want to feel better.

When medication is necessary because of symptoms that just won’t stop, it is important to stay aware of the ingredients and potential unwanted effects of any medications you do choose to take. Many commercially available products can have risks that sometimes outweigh the benefits, and these should be avoided.

Genexa has plenty of products to offer you that are free of artificial inactive, ingredients.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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