Treatments for the Common Cold
Especially prevalent this time of year, colds are indiscriminate and can be a burden for those trying to work or attend school. Recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal was a review of some of the more common prevention and remedy strategies for colds. While the research revealed that there was evidence to support some of the more well known treatments, a number of other treatments came up lacking the support needed to prove their efficacy in treating or preventing colds.
1) Review of 67 studies indicated that the best prevention strategy was regular hand hygiene
2) Alcohol based disinfectants can be helpful
3) Daily zinc supplements can help children ward off colds
4) Antihistamines combined with decongestants can help alleviate symptoms
5) Ibuprofen has been found to be best for reducing fevers and controlling pain
In addition to reviewing medications, researchers also evaluated homeopathic remedies like vitamin supplements, ginseng, echinacea, and various other treatments. It was found that none of these other remedies, including humidification and vapors, aided in the reduction of symptoms or in expediting the healing process.
The overall conclusion of this report was that practicing regular hygiene and taking daily zinc supplements can help prevent colds from occurring. However, once a cold has set in, treatment of the pain, fever, and congestion symptoms is the best strategy to implement while the cold runs its course.