Is the patient under 3 months old?
Have there been symptoms for more than 7 days without improvement?
Are you coughing up stuff from your chest?
Do you wheeze when breathing?
Is the nose bleeding more than a little?

ACTIVITIES:  You may go to school or work if you don't have a fever. Decrease physical activities until feeling better. You do not have to stay in bed if you feel like being up. Get to bed earlier in the evening than normal.

MEDICATIONS:  There is no cure for the common cold.  It just has to run its course. However, there are effective remedies for relieving the symptoms.  If you don't have uncontrolled high blood pressure, you may take any over-the-counter antihistamine/decongestant, such as Tavist-D or Dimetapp or a cold and flu medication which is formulated to relieve sneezing and stuffy nose.

Infants usually will not respond to these medications before 18 to 24 months old. To help babies breathe more easily, mucus can be gently suctioned from the nose with a bulb syringe. Saline nose drops (made with 1 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt) aid in liquefying mucus before suctioning. Using a cool mist vaporizer (humidifier) also helps relieve congestion during periods of rest or sleep.

DIET:  You should drink plenty of water and juices.  You may eat anything you desire.


1. Your temperature is over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. You see no improvement after a few days.
3. You have trouble breathing.

If there is also COUGH, then see elsewhere.

If there is also FEVER, then see elsewhere.

If there is also a SORE THROAT, then see elsewhere.

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This page was last updated on 19 August 1999.