Our resident pharmacist recommends the best over the counter products for cold and flu.
By Rita Ghelani
Suffering from a sore throat, runny nose or headache? There’s no denying it: cold and fluseason is upon us. Our resident pharmacist Rita Ghelani gives the lowdown on the five most reliable products for a cold and flu quick-fix.
Do I have a cold or the flu?
Although symptoms can be similar, the telltale signs of flu usually come on much more quickly than a cold and are generally more severe.
Flu symptoms include a sudden fever (30-40°C), muscle aches and pains, sweating, exhaustion, a dry cough and excessive sneezing. It’s also common for people suffering from flu to feel incapable of getting out of bed or going about their daily routine.
While there is no cure for a cold, you can look after yourself at home by resting up, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthily.
Good hygiene practices such as using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, washing your hands more often and using a hand gel during the cold and flu will also help to slow the spread of cold and viruses. These are simple and effective ways to help protect yourself and others from infections.
5 best cold and flu products
Aside from painkillers, the following remedies should help fight cold and flu symptoms.
This oral spray forms a protective active enzyme barrier on the mucous membrane (a moist tissue that protects against infection) in your throat, making it more difficult for the cold virus to cause illness. It can help shorten the duration of a cold by acting on the cold virus itself rather than just relieve symptoms. BUY NOW
- Vicks First Defence
Targeting viruses before symptoms worsen, this nasal spray is designed to be used at the first sign of a cold. The spray traps, inactivates and helps your body naturally remove the cold virus before it gets a chance to develop. BUY NOW
⚠️ If flu symptoms persist for more than a week or start to get worse, make an appointment with your GP.
- Stop & Protect Cold and Sinus Relief
Made for very blocked noses using natural ingredients, Stop & Protect nasal spray helps relieve symptoms of a cold, rhinitis or sinusitis. It also prevents further developments and attacks by forming a protective film on the nasal mucous membrane. BUY NOW
- Boots Dual Defence Nasal Spray
Containing Carragelose – a polymer containing unique anti-viral properties – use Boots Dual Defence Nasal Spray at the first sign of cold symptoms to help shorten the duration and severity of colds and flu. BUY NOW
- Flu Vaccine
One surefire way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. You can get a flu vaccine at your local pharmacy. You are eligible for a free flu vaccination if you are pregnant, aged 65 and over or have certain medical conditions, including:
- Chronic lung disease, including asthma.
- Chronic kidney, liver, heart or neurological diseases.
- An underactive immune system, either due to disease or treatment.