While cold medications don’t necessarily make a cold go away more quickly, they can ease some of the discomfort until it clears.
There are numerous over-the-counter cold remedies that contain multiple medications to tackle the various symptoms you might have. Many of them will contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help relieve pain and inflammation, a decongestant to help with nasal stuffiness, and a cough remedy. As always, you want to choose the medication based on the symptoms you’re experiencing.
However, those who have a history of high blood pressure need to be very careful to avoid cold remedies which contain decongestants. These nasal decongestants work by constricting the blood vessels which can inadvertently raise blood pressure. The most common ones containing decongestants include:
Ask your doctor if you have questions about these medications. If you have a history of high blood pressure, there are cold medications specifically designed for you. One such medication is Coricidin HBP and doesn’t contain a decongestant.
Another option for nasal congestion is to use nasal sprays which do not affect blood pressure. Good, old-fashioned recommendations to rest and drink plenty of fluids are always a safe bet as well.