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  • Created by: RhianMxx
  • Created on: 17-03-15 22:52

Prevent Spread of Colds

  • Good hygiene measures 
  • Avoid touching nose/eyes/mouth 
  • Block coughs and sneezes with tissues 
  • Use disposable tissues - throw away immediately 
  • Hand washing 
  • Think before shaking hands
  • Be aware of contaminated cloths 
  • Clean surfaces 
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Non-Pharmacological Interventions

  • Adequate fluid intake 
  • Reassurance and rest 
  • Educate for the future 
  • Antiviral tissues 
  • Saline nasal drops/sprays 
  • Vicks first defence 
  • Steam inhalation 
  • Volatile ingredients eg:- menthol and ecualyptus inhalation 

Can be used by all - apart from steam inhalation which cannot be used by children 

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  • Well tolerated 
  • Anti-pyretic 
  • Ensure no over dosage 



  • Only over 16s - risk of Reye's syndrome 

Other products not usually recommended 

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Oral Decongestants


  • Shrink swollen mucosa 
  • Examples:- Pseudoephedrine, Ephedrine, Phenylephedrine 
  • Do not use for more than 5 days 
  • Avoid near bedtime as have stimulant effect 


  • Hypertension and/or cardiac disease 
  • Diabetes 
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Prostate hypertrophy 
  • Hepatic and renal impairment
  • Glaucoma

Avoid Mono amine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)  

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Pseudo-ephedrine and Ephedrine

Can be used in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine 

Restriction on supply at one time 

  • 720mg pseudoephedrine 
  • 180mg ephedrine 
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Topical Decongestants

  • Reduce runny nose and nasal congestion 
  • Rapid and potent vasoconstricting effect 
  • Longer acting eg:- xylomtazoline (otrivine) and oxymetazoline (vicks sinex)
  • Short acting eg:- ephedrine nasal drops 
  • Nasal spray and drops 
  • Short term use -No more than 5 to 7 days 
  • Can cause rebound congestion which is often worse than before

Useful for reducing systemic side effects 

Avoid with MAOIs

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Sedating Antihistamines

  • Exploitation of antimuscarinic effects 
  • Dry up secretions 

Side effects 

  • Blurred vision 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Constipation 
  • Urinary retention 


  • Hypnotics 
  • Alcohol 
  • medication with anticholinergic properties eg:- tricyclic antidepressants

Avoid in:- 

  • Prostatic hypertrophy 
  • Glaucoma 
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Treatment in under 6

Restricted to 

  • Paracetamol/Ibuprofen 
  • Non-pharmacological treatment of coughs eg:- honey and lemon 
  • Vapour rubs/inhalants 
  • Sodium chloride nasal drops in infants 

Careful with doses for older children 

Do not use more than one product at a time

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