pharmacy cold remedy section has over two hundred separate products.
There are, however, only five different classes and some of these only
have one product per class. Consequently, there are very few true choices
among the array of products in that section.
are products for fever (antipyretics), pain (analgesics), and inflammation
(anti-inflamatories). Tylenol (acetaminophen)
will help with pain and fever; Advil and Motrin (ibuprofen)
will help with all three. There are other less commonly used over the
pain relievers such as Aleve, which also help with all three.
which are products that block the action of histamine released in an
allergic reaction. Although there are many different antihistamines
sold, there are only three that are in the majority of products: diphenhydramine
(Benadryl), brompheniramine (Dimetane) and chlorpheiramine (Triaminic).
which reduce nasal swelling and congestion. As mentioned on the pseudoephedrine
page, there is really only one decongestant (pseudoephedrine, Sudafed)
that is found in most over-the-counter products.
is only one expectorant that is in most
Robitussin is the most common example of an expectorant.
dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant. Like pseudoephedrine
and guaifenesin, it is by far the major product in its class.
products within these five classes, different companies can deliver
an amazing and overwhelming display of products to the pharmacy shelves.
The choices, however, need not be undecipherable:
suppressant (dextromethorphan) expectorant (guaifenesin) or both
plus pseudoephedrine and/or dextromethorphan
Cough and cold