The Top 5 Medicines You Need to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

The arrival of cooler weather, shorter days, and changing leaves means fall is here and winter is on the way. But this seasonal shift also signals another important change: cold and flu season is coming. And if you aren’t prepared, you could wind up suffering from sinus congestion, fevers, aches and pains, and other symptoms.

Each fall and winter, cold and flu season affects millions of people. Even if you come down with nothing worse than the common cold, the CDC reports¹ that you’ll be sick from anywhere from seven to 10 days. And the average adult catches two to three colds annually².

So, how can you stay healthy during cold and flu season? Although the best way to protect yourself is to avoid catching a cold or the flu, there are measures you can take if you do get sick. And over-the-counter cold and flu medication often offers the best relief.

Here are the top five cold and flu medications you can try to soothe your cold and flu symptoms, getting your health back on track.

1. Vicks DayQuil Cold & Flu Multi-Symptom Relief

Price: $16.14³

Designed For: Both the common cold and the flu.

What This Medicine Treats:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Throat irritation and sore throats
  • Light coughs
  • Headache
  • Body aches and pains
  • Fever

Don’t know whether you’re dealing with the common cold or the flu? Vicks DayQuil Cold & Flu Multi-Symptom Relief can help you. This daytime medication will fight the symptoms of both ailments, giving you quick relief that lasts for about four hours.

This non-drowsy formula is safe to take during the day. You’ll get temporary help with painful, achy symptoms that distract you or make you feel uncomfortable. Vicks DayQuil is a trusted brand, and you can rest easy knowing you’ll be clear-headed and able to power through the day with this medicine.

2. Mucinex Sinus-Max Max Strength, Day and Night

Price: $10.69⁴

Designed For: The common cold.

What This Medicine Treats:

  • Sinus pressure
  • Congestion
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughs

One of the most frustrating symptoms of the common cold is congestion. When your nose is stuffy, you can’t breathe – and you often get an accompanying headache from all the pressure in your sinuses. That can leave you struggling both day and night. But with Mucinex Sinus-Max Max Strength, you can fight these symptoms any time.

This two-medicine pack includes both capsules for daytime and capsules for nighttime. The day capsules work to clear your sinuses and alleviate pressure and pain. The night capsules help you get a good night’s sleep by doing the same, with a little extra power to soothe you while you rest. You’ll get relief quickly, too, thanks to this extra-strong medicine formula.

3. Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold Relief

Price: $11.44⁵

Designed For: Both the common cold and the flu.

What This Medicine Treats:

  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Minor body aches and pains
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Coughing
  • Fever

Theraflu might seem like something too easy to tackle the common cold or the flu. But this powder, which is mixed with warm water, can soothe even the most frustrating symptoms. Theraflu includes a medicated formula that can help relieve symptoms for both colds and the flu – and drinking the warm concoction can also provide help on its own for sore throats.

Featuring a blend of ingredients like green tea, honey, chamomile, and lemon, Theraflu’s “tea-like” medicine works to target multiple symptoms. You can mix a cup when you aren’t sure if you have a cold or the flu. And you’ll also find relief mixed into a delicious taste.

4. Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough + Chest Congestion DM

Price: $11.96⁶

Designed For: The common cold.

What This Medicine Treats:

  • Thins and loosens mucus
  • Coughs, both light and heavy
  • Chest congestion

If your cold has left you with a cough and a lot of mucus, Robitussin is one of the best medicines you can try. Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough + Chest Congestion DM can break up mucus that’s settled in your chest and help you expel it. It’s non-drowsy, which means you can use it anytime, and can reduce your coughs after just a few doses.

You’ll also benefit from the cough suppressant included in this Robitussin medicine. In addition to helping make your coughs more productive, it’ll reduce the frequency of your coughs. This can help you get back to normal much faster, and without as many visible symptoms.

5. Tylenol Cold + Head

Price: $8.26⁷

Designed For: The common cold and some flu symptoms.

What This Medicine Treats:

  • Sinus and head pressure
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches and pain
  • Headaches
  • Fever

Tylenol Cold + Head can provide relief from some of the most painful symptoms of the common cold. Scratchy sore throats, painful head and sinus pressure, and aches of all kinds can be soothed by this powerful medication. A more specialized Tylenol formula, this medicine includes the same pain-relieving power of regular Tylenol. And it includes additional benefits just for fighting off the common cold.

Additionally, Tylenol Cold + Head can also help alleviate some flu symptoms. If you’re experiencing body aches, a headache, or a fever, the acetaminophen in this medicine can help reduce these symptoms. It just may not be able to relieve other flu symptoms as effectively, since it is primarily targeted towards cold-like symptoms.

Prepare for Cold and Flu Season By Stocking Up on Medicine Now

If you’re hoping to keep yourself and your loved ones as healthy as possible during cold and flu season, you’ll want to be prepared. There’s nothing worse than getting sick and feeling painful, uncomfortable symptoms like a sore throat or congested nose. To combat these symptoms and fight off a cold or the flu quickly, you’ll want to have the right medicine on hand at home.

Prepare by getting medications like these now, before cold and flu strike in your home. You can compare and consider different medicine options, and build an at-home supply of medicines that can help fight any seasonal ailment.

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Featured Tip

The most common way people catch colds and illnesses? Shaking hands, according to The Telegraph.