• Wellness Center
  • Cold, Cough and Flu Products Buying Guide

    Keep coughs, sneezes and sniffles at bay by stocking up products to help you battle symptoms of winter's most unwelcome visitors.

  • While the common cold and influenza are often top of mind during back-to-school and winter seasons, remember they can strike at any time. Get prepared by stocking your medicine cabinet with everything you and your family need to battle cold, cough, and flu germs. Build immunity and ease symptoms with a variety of decongestants, cough drops and cough suppressants, inhalers, and nasal sprays. Other helpful support tools include ear infection monitors, thermometers, and humidifiers.

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    Tips for Buying Cold, Cough, and Flu Products

    1. Make a symptoms checklist. When you’re sick, it’s best to only treat the symptoms you have, which makes it hard to stock up on products beforehand. Fortunately, many medications are formulated for common combinations. Sore throat and persistent cough? Chest or sinus congestion? Fever or chills? Be prepared to treat infections you and your family often get, to minimize trips to the store once you’re down. And make sure you have a thermometer at home so you can accurately measure a fever and know when it’s important to get help bringing it down.
    2. Read labels carefully. Not all cough, cold, and flu products are created equal. Be sure to read the labels so you know exactly what you’re taking and how best to use it. Remember: not all medications play well together, so use care if you plan to combine products. If you can’t find the information you need on or in the box, try the manufacturer’s website, or just talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
    3. Get a boost with immunity products. Several supplements have been shown to boost immunity, which can help you and your family fight germs. For example, if taken at the earliest signs of a cold, zinc may shorten the time you’re feeling under the weather. And don’t forget the immune-boosting value of good old-fashioned vitamin C. Before adding supplements to your diet, make sure you consult your doctor and do your homework. This Vitamin Guide, for example, is a great source of information.
    4. Don’t forget to hydrate. When you or a loved one gets sick, it’s common to forget to drink enough fluids, especially with the flu. Try popsicles and ice as alternatives; you can also use a humidifier for moisturizing nasal passages and skin.
    5. Keep it fresh. Cold, cough, and flu products have expiration dates so regularly check the bottles in your medicine cabinet. If past the date, dispose of them properly and re-supply. Items like thermometers and humidifiers will not expire, but do have parts that need to be regularly replaced such as batteries and filters.
    6. Talk with your doctor. If symptoms persist for several days and do not improve with the use of over-the-counter medications and aids, contact your doctor for help. Sometimes this means you have an infection that requires antibiotics or other medical intervention. Always best to err on the side of caution, especially with small children and seniors.

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    The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications or other treatments.

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